Global survey of assistive technology

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global survey to gather views on the most necessary and useful assistive technologies such as hearing aids, wheel chairs and personal alarms.

The survey will feed into the first ever WHO mandated list of essential assistive technologies to provide a tool for governments. Governments can use the list to plan and focus efforts to help populations acquire the 50 priority products, thereby improving the everyday lives of the elderly and people with disabilities.

These practical tools – some low, some higher technologies – are becoming increasingly necessary to the many people in high- and middle-income countries who are living longer due to better healthcare. Similar devices are used by people with disabilities, allowing them to live more autonomously and participate in their communities.

However, such tools are not readily available everywhere. WHO estimates that only 1 out of 10 people who need these vital supports are accessing them today, due to lack of availability and awareness, and high costs. The aim is to increase access to assistive technologies for 1 billion people who need them today, and to reach 1.5 billion by 2030.

To read more about the survey and, if you wish, take part on the website

Sustainable Tailored Integrated Care for older people in Europe

The SUSTAIN project aims to improve integrated care for older people living at home with multiple health and social care needs. It will last four years and is divided into three interrelated phases (preparation, research implementation, and translation to products).

A European multidisciplinary partnership has come together to improve established integrated care initiatives for this client group and to ensure that any improvements to the integrated care initiatives are applicable and adaptable to other health systems and regions in Europe.

To learn more about the SUSTAIN project on the website

Can assisted living work in Europe?

Everyone is familiar with the idea of a retirement village, but they are relative newcomers in any form to Europe and the common perception first popularised in 1950s America is out-dated. In those days, retirement meant receiving the proverbial gold watch at 65 and moving somewhere cheaper, joining a like-minded community with a golf course, often somewhere with better weather. Some developments became towns in their own right and today over 5% of those aged 65 and above live in dedicated retirement communities.

For more information, click here on

Innovative Financing Opportunities for Healthy Ageing

The conference “Innovative Financing Opportunities for Active and Healthy Ageing” looked at how to leverage public and private financial instruments to maximise synergies in the area of active and healthy ageing. In particular, it focused on the EU financial instruments, the investment plan for Europe, joint procurement of innovative solutions and new ways of public-private co-investments in health.

To see the presentations and read the reports, click here on

Reducing the burden of chronic diseases

While much has been done in terms of health promotion and primary prevention of chronic diseases across Europe, there are still gaps and needs that require urgent attention, according to a new report from the Joint Action on Addressing Chronic Diseases and Healthy Ageing across the Life Cycle (JA-CHRODIS). The report provides a comparative overview of key policies and approaches used to promote health and prevent chronic diseases across 14 European countries.

To read the full report, click here on

Technology for older people living at home

This report identifies and maps technology-based services which have successfully enhanced the independent living of older adults at home in and outside Europe.

It identifies 14 services that effectively address issues such as improving the productivity of carers, enabling better quality care and generating savings, contributing to the financial sustainability of long-term care systems.

To read more, click here  on

How to empower people to manage their own health

In the context of population ageing and economic pressures, improving older people’s knowledge and skills in healthy lifestyles, managing diseases and navigating their way through the health system, is crucial.

This ‘health literacy’ is the subject of a European project: “Intervention Research on Health Literacy among Ageing Population” (IROHLA) which is taking stock of on-going health literacy programmes and projects. It makes use of knowledge and experience of programmes in other areas such as the private and social sectors and applies it to the health sector.

IROHLA identifies, validates and presents a set of best interventions, which together constitute a comprehensive approach to addressing the health literacy needs of the ageing population in European countries. These interventions will be part of evidence-based guidelines for policy and practice for local, regional and national government authorities.

For more information about the project, click here on

Dementia: Self Sustaining Communities

May 2014. Our annual conference showcased award winning innovative initiatives and projects from across Europe and the UK, aimed to better support people with dementia living in the community or care home environment.  

The programme includes speakers’ details, and the presentations below are listed in the order they appear on the programme: