Age-Friendly Basque Country

Age-Friendly Basque Country

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Activity details

Euskadi Lagunkoia or AF Basque Country project is an initiative which is being carried out by the Department of Employment and Social Policies of the Basque Country and Matia Institute since 2012. Despite its current regional level, the age-friendly movement started with Donostia-San Sebastian, which was the first city joining the WHO Network in Spain (2009), followed by the other capitals in a short period of time. Afterwards, the opportunity of launching a regional level initiative was raised in a conference celebrated during the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity. The aim was to consider the feasibility of tackling a global project in which different agents, councils, leaders of the associative organisations and experts participated. Based on the interest of all these agents working within an age-friendly framework, a territorial initiative was launched in May 2012. The approach of Euskadi Lagunkoia is to promote the movement in all the villages, environments and cities of the Basque Country. In doing this, the regional government supports smaller municipalities with fewer resources to join the initiative and promotes a network which integrates municipalities, organisations and individuals from the private, public and social spheres. In this way, the work is carried out both at the local level, by town councils, older people associations, organisations, and citizens, as well as at a territorial level, by generating a common methodology of work and piloting action programs in collaboration with other departments and areas of the Basque Government. All the work is done for a common purpose: to create facilitating living environments where it is possible to live together. So far, 64 municipalities in this region joined Euskadi Lagunkoia to improve the quality of life of their citizens.
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: 18/12/2019

Current Status

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. This document has been translated into English with the compliments of the City of Unley, South Australia in December 2015 for international distribution 2) 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. 3) Workshops on how to carry out the diagnosis and the action plan: They are carried out according to the needs of the municipalities throughout the year. 4) I and II Conference “Good European Age-Friendliness Practices”. 5) Guide to Friendly Housing: To be presented on July 4. ONGOIN ACTIONS: 1) Updating of the practical guide for implementation in municipalities. Under development. 2) Age-friendly Business program: 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. Resources: AF Bussines Guide: AF Bussiness campaing: 3) Age-Friendly Farmacies: Program in development in collaboration with the College of Pharmacists. With the aim of improving the friendliness of pharmacies and enhancing their community role. 4) 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. 5) Legacy: Intangible cultural heritage transmission by the older people. 12 (9 online, 1 in english) documentary videos (5’) 6) Repository of good practices: The aim of this web section is to compile, systematise and disseminate Good Practices developed by entities in the Basque Country. 7) Award for Best Practices in friendliness: with the aim of highlighting those practices developed by entities in the Basque Country that stand out for their innovation and effectiveness in terms of friendliness. 8) Friendly Experiences: videos about the development of the project in different municipalities. 9) 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, Repository of good practices, and AF Mapping. 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