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The European Policy Centre has just released the report “Healthy and active ageing: turning the 'silver' economy into gold”, analysing the impact of demographic change in Europe and the societal and economic challenges ahead.
In this Policy Brief analyst Annika Ahtonen argues that in order for Europe to address the demographic challenge and to turn it into an opportunity, it should make active and healthy ageing a project for the whole of society. The author points out that this requires promoting health and preventing diseases, creating age-friendly environments, providing people with incentives to continue working longer, and deploying innovative products, services and processes. It will also require bringing about an attitude change among EU citizens, be they carers, patients, consumers, workers or employers, and involving them in the transition.
The European Policy Centre’s paper stresses that closing our eyes will not make the demographic challenge disappear, nor will it transform overstretched public budgets into sustainable sources of funding for ageing societies. It is in Europe's interests to face up to the challenge and turn it into a narrative for growth, success and social cohesion.
The Policy Brief builds on the Coalition for Health, Ethics and Society (CHES) events of 2011 and creates the basis for further discussion on the challenges and possibilities with active healthy ageing.
The EPC is an independent, not-for-profit think tank. Its members comprise companies, professional and business federations, trade unions, diplomatic missions, regional and local bodies, as well as NGOs representing a broad range of civil society interests, foundations, international and religious organisations.
The report “Healthy and active ageing: turning the 'silver' economy into gold” may be downloaded here.