Press release, 14 March 2008

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Eurofound launches major communication campaign on active ageing:

Reassessing the role of older people

As Europe experiences dramatic demographic change, companies and policymakers are increasingly taking a different approach towards older people, be it as potential customers with considerable spending power or as a valuable resource in the workplace. Promoting employment opportunities for an ageing workforce, for example, is a complex challenge that requires rethinking at company, national and EU level. In this context, Eurofound launches a communication campaign aimed at bringing policymakers, companies and society up to par with the latest research data, recommendations and case examples to tackle the challenges and explore the opportunities associated with active ageing.

From a work perspective, creating conditions for working longer means introducing policies that maintain and promote the health of all employees, develop and update the skills of older workers through training, and provide suitable working conditions, including measures to reconcile work with family and care responsibilities – of growing importance in an increasingly female older workforce.

With the ageing of the population, policy attention is also turning to the issue of care. While the role of the family is acknowledged as being central to fulfilling care needs, the need for paid workers to support informal care arrangements has become more important with changes in family formation and the higher proportion of women – seen as the traditional family carers – entering the labour market. Older people still have many needs for care, health and security, and many are lonely, poor or ill, which should be met by good public services.

‘In our research over the past decade, the good news is that we have found that European companies have changed their attitudes towards older people,’ says Robert Anderson, Eurofound’s expert on ageing. ‘Increasingly, older people are viewed as potential customers with considerable spending power and as a valuable resource in the workplace in terms of skills and knowledge.’

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is launching a campaign on 'Working Longer, Living Better – Europe’s coming of age' in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 March 2008. The campaign, which explores the impact of an ageing society and workforce, providing insights into developments at EU, national and company level, brings together Eurofound’s research findings, recommendations and examples of good practice and strategies for change in the workplace that it has compiled over the last decade.

Eurofound’s resource pack on active ageing is available at www.eurofound.europa.eu/resourcepacks/activeageing.htm

For further information, contact Måns Mårtensson, Press Officer, on telephone +353-1-204 3124, mobile +353-876-593 507, or email mma@eurofound.europa.eu

NOTE TO THE EDITOR
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite EU body, whose role is to provide key actors in social policymaking with findings, knowledge and advice drawn from comparative research. Eurofound was established by Council Regulation EEC No. 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 and is located in Dublin, Ireland.

More news and information from Eurofound is available on: www.eurofound.europa.eu
To register for regular information from Eurofound visit: www.eurofound.europa.eu/press/subscription.htm

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