IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice.
European Flag    Europa The European Commission Research Fifth Framework Programme
Improving the Quality of Life

The ageing population and disabilities

A better standard of living and greater access to more advanced medical care has increased life expectancy dramatically this century, while birth rates have fallen.

These two trends are creating a 'top-heavy' population, with an expanding proportion of older people. This is not a problem, of course, if senior citizens can look forward to years of good quality life after retiring.
But what happens when natural degeneration starts to cause health problems, or if an age-related disease such as Parkinson's, arthritis or senile dementia develops? None of these diseases are immediately life-threatening, but they can make life difficult to bear and place a great financial, emotional and logistical burden on health services, families and carers.
This key action aims to promote quality of life for the elderly. Through researching more effective prevention and treatment for age-related disease and disability, as well as their societal consequences, it will allow more people to enjoy good health and independence in their old age, as well as reducing the strain on public health services.

Effective and efficient care
  • providing good health and social care services for older people
  • finding the best way of financing long-term care

health care, services and social care; efficiency and quality; ageing and health-care financing

Towards healthy ageing
  • discovering more about the mechanisms that lead to age-related changes
  • determining the biological, psychological, social and economic factors that make healthy ageing more likely

cellular and molecular basis of ageing; genetic predisposition; immunology; modelling of ageing processes; biomarkers; psychological implications

Preventing, delaying and treating age-related illness
  • research on nervous systems
  • research on endocrine systems
  • research on cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and locomotor systems

age-related disease; pathophysiology of ageing; co-morbidity studies

Following the trends
  • demographic and epidemiological research on ageing and disability
  • predicting the size and nature of the ageing population of the future
  • acquiring information as inputs to policy and planning

demographics; lifestyle, medical, sociological and environmental factors; prevention; data collection

An easier life for the elderly
  • investigating new approaches that might delay disability
  • making the social and physical environment less challenging
  • designing suitably adapted products and services
  • supporting mental and physical well-being

social integration; age-related degeneration; rehabilitation and replacement therapies; intervention assessment

  Search Top