Eurodiaconia, at the service of the fight against ageism
For Alexander Elu and Célimène Bernard, policy officers at Eurodiaconia, the European network of churches and Christian NGOs, quality are services are key to render our societies more cohesive. They call for a rapid and ambitious implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Today, Europeans live longer than ever before. However, such a progress comes with many challenges. As providers of social and health care services, Eurodiaconia members witness that problem of isolation, loneliness and social exclusion are relatively more prevalent among older people. In the same vein, the lack of accessible and affordable services of quality has a greater impact on older people and is another form of discrimination against them.
Indeed, affordable, accessible and quality long-term care services are key to improve the health, wellbeing and social inclusion of older people and render our societies more cohesive. The European Pillar of Social Rights provides us with a legal framework recognising the right for everyone to timely access affordable, preventive and curative health care of good quality (principle 16) as well as the right to affordable long-term care services of good quality (18).
Eurodiaconia is committed to bringing the Pillar to life and implementing rights in practice. The next meeting of the thematic member network on social and health care services will point at ways to operationalise the principles enshrined in the Pillar and to deliver beyond, for instance through the promotion of integrated care that puts older people at the heart of service delivery and empowers them as agents against ageism.
Eurodiaconia is a network of 46 organizations in 33 European countries and territories providing social services and working for social justice. Founded in the Christian tradition Eurodiaconia members work to ensure that our societies provide opportunities for all people to live in dignity and realize their full potential.