WHO/Martina Pellny

WHO/Europe promotes healthy ageing in the Region through a range of strategies and action plans to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases, strengthen health systems and improve health care services. As part of this effort, WHO/Europe seeks and promotes policies and interventions that have the greatest potential to achieve gains, for example, in the following key areas:

  • prevention of falls;
  • promotion of physical activity;
  • vaccination of older people and prevention of infectious disease in health-care settings;
  • public support for informal care giving with a focus on home care, including self-care;
  • building capacity in geriatrics and gerontology among the health and social care workforce;
  • prevention of social isolation and social exclusion;
  • strategies to ensure the quality of care for older people, with a focus on dementia care and palliative care for long-term patients;
  • prevention of elder maltreatment.

With the rapid ageing of most European populations, policies for healthy ageing have become key to preventing a large part of the burden of disease, disability and loss of well-being in the Region. Older people’s health and well-being can be increased decisively if policies across a wide range of sectors take account of their specific needs, concerns and barriers to access. Such policies can also be instrumental in closing the gaps in health and well-being between countries and between socioeconomic groups.