Age-Friendly Basque Country

Age-Friendly Basque Country

  1. English
  2. English

Activity details

The Basque country has taken a proactive approach to the WHO Age-friendly cities and communities’ initiative by developing, implemented by the Department of Employment and Social Policies and Matia Institute from 2012. Rallying institutions, agents and individuals to make living spaces more "age-friendly", where people can live without physical obstacles and barriers is a primary goal. Goals: • Tapping the potential represented by seniors in the life of villages and cities as welfare generators. • Create and promote community participation processes. • Create a Network of friendly initiatives. • Facilitate the introduction of changes in the environments to improve the quality of life. During the period of time from 2012 to 2014, has served to drive tools, methodologies and best practices in 15 municipalities of the Basque Country. Matia Institute designed and implemented the process in these municipalities with the involvement of the councils, local agents, associations and citizens. These pilots have served as basis for the preparation of the “Practical guide to implement and use in municipalities” where to provide all Basque municipalities the tools needed to build a friendly territory. Since November 2014, 25 new municipalities are involved (40 in total, April 2017). They are working by themselves following the guidance with the advice of Matia Institute.
Action Group:
Other organisations participating in the commitment: 
Basque Government Department of Employment and Social Policies
Lead organisation name: 
Matia Institute
Organisation country:
Contact person: 
Elena del Barrio
Contact person email:
Activity type:
Start date: 
Last update: 09/01/2018

Current Status

25 new municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia (total 40 in April 2017): In order to promote and develop the project was established a work plan in collaboration with the Federation of Retirees and Pensioners of the Basque Country (FEDERPEN). In this way, in new municipalities the elderly associations have created self-managed groups for carrying out the qualitative assessment through meetings and citizens forums, promoting empowerment and leadership to older persons. • STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED 2012-2016: • City councils: 40 • Government Departments: 4 • Citizens participating in the survey: +2.700 • Citizens participating in Forums: +500 • Older Associations: +40 • Other associations: +50 • Schools: +25 • Business: +200 • Total citizens: +3000 • Total stakeholders: +300. ACTIONS IMPLEMENTED: 1) Practical Guide to Implement and Use in Municipalities (November 2014) The guide aims to support all municipalities in Euskadi in the creation of age-friendly cities. The guide documents a pilot project designed to analyse and implement methods of advancing the age-friendliness of territories, as tested in 15 pilot municipalities during 2012-2014. National distribution by Euskadi Lagunkoia’s web, Age-Friendly Cities Spain Network, Matia Foundation, SIIS, Aging Network (CSIC), Pilares Foundation. Spanish downloads: 1.614, Basque Downloads: 390. This document has been translated into English with the compliments of the City of Unley, South Australia in December 2015 for international distribution by International Longevity Center, World Health Organization, International Federation on Ageing and Age-Friendly Europe. English downloads: 235 Total downloads: 2.257. - 2) Age-friendly Business Guide: to promote the development of inclusive communities in the Basque Country. The initiative provides educational and self-assessment materials to participating businesses to facilitate development. Information also includes how businesses can provide quality service for older adults that are affected by loss of mobility, vision and hearing impairments and dementia. The educational course was piloted in 6 municipalities and 82 businesses involved. During 2016 with the collaboration of Commerce Department and the Trade Offices (34), we are planning courses around all the Basque Country. The guide is currently available in Spanish and Basque languages and is going to be translated into Portuguese (ILC Brasil) and English (City of Unley, Australia) for its distribution and international use. Spanish downloads: 1.600, Basque Downloads: 475. Total: 2.075. - 3) Dementia Friendly Community Guide: aims citizen awareness and guidelines on how to help people with dementia in their daily life. The Guide was launched with the collaboration of the Alzheimer Associations of the Basque Country on the World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21st, 2015). This guide was distributed in all municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia (social centres, health centres, cultural centres, etc.) and other municipalities and stakeholders interested. 16.850 guides are distributed in hard copy and 80 online. ONGOIN ACTIONS: 1) Time Bank: To promote communication and mutual support among neighbours and time swap (1 pilot municipality). - 2) Age-Friendly places: Working groups led by people of all ages in order to detect improvement proposals, recover public spaces, encourage citizen participation and strengthen social networks in the neighbourhood. Supplemented for mapping places by citizenship (1 town 23 participants). – 3) Legacy: Intangible cultural heritage transmission by the older people. 12 (9 online, 1 in english) documentary videos (5’). 2646 views. ( 3) Web platform Euskadi Lagunkoia ( With the aims to share good practices, documents, guides and news; and to promote the participation 2.0 by the blog section, Bank of time and AF Mapping. Google analylitics 2015: Sessions: 6.303, Users: 4.935, Viewed pages: 19.726. In April of 2017 was presented the Baseline assessment of the age-friendliness in the Basque Country and Action Plan.


Title Planned Deadline Current Status Category Attachments
PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IMPLEMENT AND USE IN MUNICIPALITIES 31/12/2019 Achieved Products: Recomendations/ guidelines/ regulations/ standards/ agreements PDF icon The guide documents a pilot project designed to analyze and implement methods of advancing the age-friendliness of territories,
Age-friendly Business Guide 08/04/2016 Achieved Products: Educational, prevention, intervention programs PDF icon Manual how to improve the friendliness of businesses
Dementia Friendly Community Guide 08/04/2016 Achieved Products: Educational, prevention, intervention programs PDF icon Dementia Friendly Guide aims citizen awareness and guidelines on how to help people with dementia in their daily life
Baseline assessment of the age-friendliness in Basque Country and Action Plan 17/04/2017 Achieved Research: Reports (reports, articles, findings) PDF icon diagnostico_euskadi_v11.pdf


Indicator Target indicator Current status
Active Ageing Index - AAI 38.4 in 2018-2020 36.6