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The Red Cross Red Crescent: Promoting the Active Contribution of Older People to Society


Other / Europe

The Red Cross Red Crescent: Promoting the Active Contribution of Older People to Society © Irish Red Cross Youth

The Red Cross Red Crescent  is one of the official partners of the European Commission during the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

Ageing was recognized as a new priority issue for the Red Cross Red Crescent in the Europe Zone during the last European Regional Conference, in Vienna, 2010. In 2011, as part of its tasks in relation to ageing contained in the Vienna Commitments, the Europe Zone Office set up a Working Group on Ageing in order to strengthen the capacity of National Societies in the Europe Zone through the dissemination of quality standards and evidence-based programming.

National Societies from Europe and Central Asia are already implementing interesting and effective activities, projects and programmes that foster intergenerational solidarity, promoting the inclusion of all age groups and people with different backgrounds in all activities and decision-making bodies, and raising awareness of the contribution of older persons in helping and supporting other generations.

These are some intergenerational solidarity projects that youth volunteers from several National Societies in the Europe Zone are currently implementing:

Fostering social inclusion among lonely elderly in Bacău (Romania) - Through the programme “Centre for care and home assistance for elderly”, the Red Cross branch in Bacău advocates for equal access to health care and social services at home for about 120 elderly in situations of social isolation and poverty.

"Stimule t’oie!" (France) - The youth of the French Red Cross have launched a new exchange and animation platform for dependent elderly, called “Stimule t’oie!” This board game helps participants stimulate their senses and memory: sense of smell and touch, but also miming, asking and singing. The youth teams of the French Red Cross are organising "Stimule t’oie!" with dependent elderly people in nursing homes or in shelters for people with disabilities.

“Pflegefit” (Austria) - The Austrian Youth Red Cross (AYRC) has implemented a training called “Pflegefit”, a toolkit for health and social care within the family. Pflegefit helps to understand needs of disabled family members, as well as to gain knowledge in dealing with different areas of nursing. Besides, the toolkit gives tips on special assistance in certain circumstances, e.g. after an accident.

Throughout the EY2012 the Red Cross Red Crescent commits to:

  • Aim for self-empowerment of older people and encourage active ageing, strengthening their resilience and allowing them to remain autonomous.
  • Highlight to governments the strong evidence that active ageing reduces the vulnerability of older people.
  • Advocate for the inclusion of older people in economic, social and cultural life, and lifelong learning.
  • Promote their active participation as volunteers in own activities and decision making and recognise their work.
  • Contribute to build a positive image of ageing and recognise older people as an important resource of society.
Promotor: Red Cross/ EU Office

The Red Cross/EU Office represents 26 Red Cross National Societies of the European Union Member States, the Norwegian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The Office coordinates relations and communications between its Members and the EU institutions.