• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  


  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.


  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today


Calendar Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Healthy ageing and elderly care

Eurodiaconia runs a network on Healthy Ageing and Elderly Care for members to engage in policy discussions related to ageing and care for older people, feeding into Eurodiaconia's advocacy work, and to share experiences and best practice in care for older people.

In the context of demographic change Eurodiaconia has focussed on services for older people. With Members Eurodiaconia drew up a policy paper outlining the challenges members see in the field and proposing recommendations.

In 2012 a publication entitled "Ageing Well: Together" was launched which features reflections from Eurodiaconia and Heinz K. Becker MEP, recommendations and projects and services from members focusing on ensuring social inclusion for older people.

The European Commission published a working paper on long-term care in 2013, a briefing can be found below:

Other relevant Eurodiaconia documents:

Eurodiaconia has been involved in the Coalition for the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations 2012 (EY2012) working for a stronger recognition of the role of social and health services in ensuring active ageing, independent living. Eurodiaconia contributed to the coalition's brochure which makes recommendations for different types of stakeholders on how to promote active ageing and intergenerational solidarity. The Roadmap provides an overview of of activities that the Coalition commit to undertaking in 2012 to ensure that all  relevant stakeholders will be actively involved in the  implementation of the  EY2012 and the European Union will do its outmost to complement and support Member States’ actions aiming at creating an Age-Friendly European Union  by 2020.

To learn more about healthy ageing and elderly care work in Eurodiaconia, please contact Laura Jones on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Diaconia Valdese receives award for projects with older people

7 April 2014

On the 24 March Diaconia Valdese received an award for their project “‘Us with You – Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s” from the Network of European Foundations (NEF) in the category “Living well with dementia in the community”.

The project’s initiatives acknowledge, support, maintain, extend, demonstrate and ‘celebrate the possible’ in the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and offer them the opportunity to be advocates or ‘Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s’, creating new ambassadors in the local community. The project includes the development of: 1. a home care service; 2. home-based training and support for caregivers; 3. a drop-in at a local coffee shop; 4. community and socio-pedagogical activities for people with  and without AD within and outside the Refuge; 5. information and awareness events and training in the local community.  jury of European experts from the Centre for Social Innovation (AT), Ashoka (DE), the Netwell Centre of the Dundalk Institute of Technology (IE), the Centre of Socio-economic Gerontological Research of the Italian National Research Centre on Ageing (IT), the Ageing Research Centre of the Karolinska Institutet (SE) and AGE Platform Europe.

All projects receiveing awards in this category with contact details can be found here. The NEF press release can be found here


Meeting report from discussion about active ageing for the oldest now available

19 December 2013

The report from the discussion Eurodiaconia organised entitled  ‘Active Ageing for the oldest in society: How can services and new technology contribute?’ is now available.

The 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations brought issues relating to healthy ageing, independent living and long term care to the fore and Eurodiaconia would like to keep them high on the EU agenda. Our society is ageing and in order to ensure that all older people, no matter how high their dependencies, can live a life in dignity, all actors must work together to develop services that meet older peoples’ needs. The increased use of technology is often cited as having a key role to play in supporting older people. But what ethical and social implications are there from the increased use of technology for independent living? Healthy lifestyles and exercise are important for prolonging healthy life years. How far can activities for the oldest people, including those experiencing illness, or those with dementia play this role? How can we ensure self-determination for all, particularly for older people with dementia?

This meeting aimed to raise awareness of the work of diaconal organisations in supporting the oldest in society, including new and more innovative approaches, present the concerns of Eurodiaconia members to policy makers, and answer some of the above questions. The outcomes of the discussion will also feed into Eurodiaconia’s policy work relating to ageing.

A report summarising the presentations and discussions, including photos of the event, can be found here.

The presentations can be found here:

Overview of meeting

Church City Mission Oslo, Norway - GPS and Dementia

Diakonie Hessen, Germany – Motor and mental training for people with dementia

Slezska Diakonie, Czech Republic – Services and challenges in the Czech Republic



European Medicines Agency invites comments on revising guidelines on medicines to treat Alzheimer's

31 October 2013

The European Medicines Agency has released a concept paper on the need to revise the guideline on medicines for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias for public consultation. 

Comments should be sent by 31 January 2014 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , using the template provided. 

Recent progress in understanding the neurobiology and pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease suggests that the structural and biological changes associated with the disease start to occur as early as 10 to 20 years prior to the emergence of the clinical symptoms. As a consequence, early and even pre-symptomatic patients are now being included in clinical development programmes and it is expected that some medicines may be more effective at that stage than they would be later in the illness.

New research diagnostic criteria are being used in clinical trials for different stages of the disease. In addition, a number of biomarkers to help identify and select patients at the pre-dementia stage of the disease have been developed by medicines developers; several have received a qualification opinion from the Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) for use in the development of medicines.

The concept paper describes how these new developments have had an impact on recent and future clinical-trial protocols and discusses the elements to consider as part of the revision of the current guideline. These include the:

  • impact of new diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease, including early and even asymptomatic disease stages on clinical-trial design;
  • choice of parameters to measure trial outcomes and the need for distinct assessment tools for the different disease stages in Alzheimer's (different signs and symptoms, differences in change over time, severity);
  • assessment of efficacy and safety in different age groups;
  • potential use of biomarkers and their temporal relationship with the different phases of Alzheimer's disease at different stages of medicine development (mechanism of action, use as diagnostic test, enrichment of study populations, stratification of subgroups, safety and efficacy markers, etc.);
  • design of long-term efficacy and safety studies;
  • usefulness of combination therapy and corresponding study designs.

The comments submitted on the concept paper will be considered in the development of the revised guideline.

From EMA news courtesy of Novares monitoring



Experts discuss healthcare provision in times of austerity

24 October 2013

In a policy discussion hosted by the think tank EPC experts from the public health and pharmaceutical sectors presented their proposals to ensure access to quality healthcare is maintained in times of austerity.

A representative from the European Commission started the meeting by presenting trends in healthcare spending. Public expenditure on healthcare is increasing steadily and although demographic change is not the main driver the age-related spending share is increasing. He said that the Commission intends to do more analytical work on causality between expenditure, and on what it is spent, and outcomes in the sector as expenditure and impact varies so much between countries. He said that efficiency of healthcare could be better addressed, including developing primary care, e-health and health promotion.

The Director designate of the Irish Health Service gave an overview of the massive cuts, or “cost extraction”, their services had to undergo. Labour reforms including job cuts and lower job benefits were carried out in cooperation with the social partners and avoided social unrest. The system is now more based on need than income and they are working with the work force to help them deliver services to a higher standard. They have also addressed, among others, an overuse of services, hand hygiene of staff, enabled more home care and are “re-engineering” care “pathways” with stakeholders for more efficient service provision.

The representative from the Swedish National Institute of Health spoke of the massive challenge of non-communicable diseases for health systems, particularly cardiovascular ones, and how much can be done to prevent their prevalence. Methods to do this included tobacco and salt control, promoting healthy lifestyles and at the root, tackling health inequalities. She mentioned a study that found that poor health and premature death because of health inequalities costs up to an estimated 9.5% of GDP. Other solutions presented included using electronic diagnosis machines, patient-centred and integrated care and taking a health in all policies approach, as in Sweden; considering the health impact in all decision making.

Speakers from the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries talked about how they are developing methods to reduce costs such as personalised medicines, making medicines easier to take and replacing routine hospital care with home or local care in order to reduce costs. They also talked about the importance of biosimilars and generics and prevention and promotion, including in companies’ staff.


Every euro invested in assisted living communities for older people brings 2.26 in return

17 October 2013

A recent study by the Vienna University of Economics and Business shows the positive social and economic impacts of a group of assisted living communities for elderly people, as they calculate that every euro invested there brings 2.2.6 euro in return. The authors analysed the outcomes of services offered by the company ‘Miteinander leben’, which is part of Eurodiaconia’s member organisation Diakonie Austria.

The form of assisted living provided by ‘Miteinander leben’ in 15 different municipialities of Steiermark allows elderly people to live in independent flats. At the same time, they have access to health and social services, the building is disability-friendly and recreational activities are offered on a weekly basis. In 2012, 209 people lived in such housing and 27 employees were working there. In the same year, the project in Graz of ‘Miteinander leben’ received the Eurodiaconia award as it promotes active ageing within residential care and the community and supports integrative service provision.

In order to measure the social impact of assisted living communities, the authors of the study did a SROI analysis (in German). This method focuses on the various stakeholders who are affected by the project and quantifies the outcomes for each group according to indicators and proxy indicators.

Through a SROI analysis, the authors highlight how this form of ‘assisted living’ not only improves the general wellbeing of elderly people, but also creates new quality jobs, improves relationships between relatives (as it relieves the burden of informal care) and reduces financial costs for municipalities. 

You can find more information on the company 'Miteinander leben' here

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