On 18th of January, EASPD wrote a letter to the Vice President Dubravka Suica, with regards to the upcoming publication of the Green Paper on Ageing. This letter aims to provide key recommendations for the provision of high-quality care and support services to persons with disabilities who are ageing, as well as to persons who acquire disabilities as they age.
The European Commission’s report on the impact of Demographic change revealed that Europe is getting older and it is projected that by 2070, 30% of people in Europe are estimated to be aged 65 and above. Almost half of older people have a disability, with a percentage of 47.8% of people in the 65+ age group– with this figure getting higher as people get into the older age groups. (EU-SILC 2018).
The support provided to persons ageing with and ageing in a disability is therefore a crucial aspect of any work on Ageing yet faces several challenges. Moreover, the “disability” and “ageing” sectors need to be viewed as unseparated when designing policies and developing services.
EASPD strongly believes that the following points mark important aspects of the population ageing in and with a disability and should thus be reflected in the upcoming Green Paper on Ageing:
- Facilitate the transition to care and support services in the community in line with the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR).
- Prioritize the development of home and community-based services, ensuring access to person-centred and empowering services in line with the UN CRPD and the EPSR, as well the development of specialized services, such as respite care and preventative services.
- Respond to the challenges faced by the Long-Term Care sector, as along with the increasing ageing in and with a disability population, there is an increasing demand for formal LTC services.
- Ensure Principle 17 on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and Principle 18 on the right to Long-Term Care of the European Pillar of Social Rights are to be made a reality as they are very much complementary.
- Strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of Long-Term Care funding model.
- Invest in human resources strategies for the recruitment and retention of a highly skilled workforce, ensuring ongoing training and re-training of the staff.
- Encourage the development of person-centred technology to promote independence and quality of life of the ageing population and support the workforce - digital devices can improve occupational health and safety.
- Invest in digital technologies for the deployment of services in rural and insular areas, for the creation of new services and for the improvement of existing ones and to advance the cooperation between different service providers.
- Guarantee that the Recovery and Resilience Facility will respond to the challenges faced by the social services sector due to COVID-19; facilitate the development of community-based services; ensure access to person-centred and empowering services in the community in line with the principles of the UN CRPD and the EPSR, and invest in building up a skilled social care workforce.
To read the letter in full, click here.
For more information, please contact Konstantina Leventi, Policy & Project Officer