The role of age-friendly and supportive environments

Physical and social environments are key determinants of healthy ageing and independent living in the community. Many decisions on access to good quality health and social care for older people are made at local and regional level. Local governments therefore play a crucial role in supporting and enabling people to lead active and healthy lives.

A priority in Europe

Creating supportive environments for health and well-being and reducing health inequalities are at the core of the WHO Health 2020 European policy framework and strategy for the 21st century and of the WHO Strategy and action plan for healthy ageing in Europe, 2012-2020. The European Commission has made it an objective of the Social Investment Package to improve the conditions for active ageing. Age-friendly environments are one of the priority actions of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. This innovation partnership was launched in 2010 by the European Commission as part of the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union.