• 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 Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Healthy ageing and long-term care

Eurodiaconia runs a network on Healthy Ageing and Long-term 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 in 2009 outlining the challenges members see in the field and proposing recommendations. This was developed and revised in 2014.

Key Eurodiaconia documents:

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:

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

Conference discusses how to promote and develop palliative care

16 October 2014

On the 15th October Eurodiaconia participated in a conference entitled Palliative Care 2020, the final event for two EU funded research projects, impact and EUROIMPACT. EUROIMPACT trained researchers in the field of palliative care and impact looked at the implementation of quality indicators in palliative care. The projects jointly developed the 2014 European Declaration on Palliative Care, ten evidence-based policy recommendations which was the basis for the discussions. .

Numerous speakers talked of the need to build understanding among both the public and professionals about the scope and meaning of palliative care. It should not just be seen as care for the dying but about improving the well-being of persons with chronic diseases, which may last many years, and is not just relevant in a person’s final months. One participant talked about the success of a campaign in Ireland with the approach: say palliative care, think quality of life, whilst in the Czech Republic the interactive website http://www.thinkaboutdeath.org/ (a joint project of a hospice and a creative agency) seemed to be successful in reaching out to young people.

A number of interventions mentioned the fact that there is a lack of focus on research in palliative care, and that there is need for a broader evidence base to support different approaches. Other fields of medical research benefit from much higher resources but may affect fewer people than those that would benefit from palliative care. Eurodiaconia pointed out that there is a wider need to examine which models of integration of social and health care work when, and that integration must be addressed at all levels, from local level to the ministerial level. Further research can also provide more robust important economic justifications for investing in palliative care, to build on existing findings that palliative care often reduces the need for acute care and therefore is less expensive.

The European Commission presented ongoing work on producing guidelines on cancer care, which will include a section on palliative care. A few experts spoke about the importance of drawing expertise gained from cancer research and treatment into other sectors. The debate around whether it was better to focus on palliative care as a separate field or rather to ensure integration in other fields was not conclusive, but it was felt that it should be addressed again; does one approach have a bigger impact? In terms of outcome indicators it was stressed that attitudes of some professionals needed to change in favour of using them, but that they should also be useful to inform service provision. Quality indicators should also include measurements of spiritual care.

Participants agreed that palliative care should be integrated into medical educational curricula as well as on the job learning. In addition to knowledge and skills, one expert spoke of the importance of ensuring positive attitudes of staff towards palliative care. Building skills in risk management andcomplexity was also raised as a need. There is still the need to take a more user or patient-centred approach to care and develop personalised care plans, and do more advanced care planning anticipating future needs.

Report from meeting on long-term care and employment in diaconia now online

06 October 2014

The meeting report of the back to back meetings on long-term care and employment in diaconia is now available online. Over twenty participants gathered at Bräcke Diakoni in Gothenburg, Sweden for the Healthy Ageing and Long-Term Care Network (HALTC), the Employment in Diaconia Network (EiD), joined with a workshop on ‘Tackling employment cvictoria munsey presenting compressedhallenges in Diaconia with a focus on long-term care’.

Members discussed their experiences, good practice and challenges in their work and participated in a study visit for persons with dementia. For more information the meeting report can be downloaded here.




Save the Date: Supporting quality integrated care - conference in Brussels 18/11

25 September 2014

Eurodiaconia, AGE Platform Europe and EuroHealthNet are pleased to invite you to a half day conference hosted by the Committee of the Regions in Brussels on the 18th November 2014, 14.00-17.30. We would like to reflect on benefits and challenges of developing integrated care services, promote mutual learning and examine what further work could be carried out at EU level in this field.

People who have multiple care needs usually receive health and social care services from different providers and in different care settings. Health and social care providers have experienced that this often happens without appropriate co-ordination or a holistic approach, leading to problems for the service user, family and increased costs to care systems.

As the EU population ages, more people will require care and more cost pressure will be put on social protection systems. Integrating and coordinated care is one method  to meet these challenges, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery. This was highlighted as an area where government needs to take action by the "Joint Report on adequate social protection for long-term care needs in an ageing society", endorsed by Employment and Social Affairs ministers in June this year.

Testimonies from services users will be given and examples of good practice from the political to the organisational levels will be shared for discussion. A panel of representatives from the EU institutions will discuss ideas for next steps at EU level.

An invitation with a draft agenda will be available shortly.

Eurodiaconia members are also invited to attend a meeting the morning of the 19th to further exchange on the topic and review next steps. More information on this additional meeting will also be available shortly. Financial support is possible for members interested in attending the meetings.

For any questions please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Long-term care and employment in the care sector - members discuss in Gothenburg

18 September 2014

Last week, over twenty participants gathered at Bräcke Diakoni in Gothenburg, Sweden, for discussions about long-term care and employment in the care sector. Two network meetings were held back to back: the Healthy Ageing and Long-Term Care Network (HALTC) and the Employment in Diaconia Network (EiD), joined with a workshop on ‘Tackling employment challenges in Diaconia with a focus on long-term care’.

At the HALTC network, the group discussed the Swedish context and Bräcke Diakoni and City Mission Gothenburg’s work with older people. Models and methods of integrated care at different levels was a focus of the meeting. Participants heard an example from Diakoniewerk Salzburg of an intergenerational residential project where community activities, volunteers and care services are coordinated (www.rosazukunft.at/).

A representative from the Diaconia Valdese (Italy) presented a comprehensive project that works to improve the quality of life for persons with dementia and theivictoria munsey presenting compressedr families. Activities range from an Alzheimer café in a local bar, to awareness raising meetings and support for informal carers. The group also discussed the recently published SPC-European Commission report on long-term care, feeding into a response and recommendations that Eurodiaconia is preparing.

Gintnstgarden dog therapyParticipants visited a Bräcke Diakoni care home for persons with dementia, and were impressed by the attention to detail, particularly in the décor, that can make a difference for the quality of life for the older people living there. The group were also able to participate in a short music therapy session and experience dog therapy activities.

The workshop saw discussions about challenges members face in recruitment and retention in the care sector, and discussed effective solutions. These included facilitating flexible working hours, promoting pride in the organisation, training and development and helping staff appreciate their motivation for working in the organisation and sector. Two examples of EU funded (ESF) staff training projects were presented by Sleszka Diakonie, focussing on training for managerial skills. Some of the impacts of the projects were presented such as better understanding of managers about their role in leading the organization, better understanding of strategic planning and of a shared vision of the organization. The group also discussed qualifications in social and health care and implications for pan-European staff mobility.

During the employment in diaconia meeting, participants heard about specific challenges and activities in the field of human resources for Bräcke Diakoni. Opportunities included an ongoing forum for sharing on cultural values with programme ”Andrum” looking a corporate values and spiritual guidance as well as ”Speranza” an in-house competence development programme.

Finally, there was a presentation on a values based training project from Siftung Diakoniewerk Neumunster called ‘give me five’ with the aim of improving social competences and behaviour of employees.

A full meeting report will be available in the next few weeks.

Commission-expert group joint report on adequate social protection for long-term care needs now out

7 July 2014

On the 19th  June Employment and Social Affairs ministers endorsed the "Joint Report on adequate social protection for long-term care needs in an ageing society" prepared by the Commission and the Social Protection Committee (an expert group of representatives of Member States' public administrations dealing with social protection).

The aim of this report is:

•  to reiterate the case for social protection against the risk of long-term care (LTC) needs;

•  to identify existing evidence about possible ways to  contain and address present and future demands;

•  to identify where there is lack of knowledge and need for further evidence;

•  to give examples of good practices around the EU that could be considered also in other Member States;

•  to suggest to the SPC where policy action could be taken to increase EU support to the efforts of Member States.

The report gives an overview of LTC provision across Member States and who the carers are, before examining whether there is adequate social protection for LTC. It examines how Member States can organise adequate provision for long-term care needs in a sustainable way, despite the ageing of the population. The report outlines the need for Member States to move to a "proactive" policy approach in order to prevent the loss of autonomy for individuals, which would in turn reduce care demand. It also seeks to boost efficient, cost-effective care at home and in residential institutions. The Commission stated “Economically, it makes sense for Member States to decrease the risk of dependency on long term care and to ensure adequate access to affordable quality care, as well as support to informal carers”.

The document starts with key messages which include the following points that are addressed in more detail in the report. There is an ever-widening gap between need and supply of LTC and social protection for LTC is needed for equity and efficiency. Social care is under resourced which means that the burden shifts to the individual and their relatives, which has negative consequences for them and for the labour market. The importance of supporting informal carers and "reinforcing" the LTC work force are key messages. In terms of innovation and proactive approaches, more focus needs to be put on healthy lifestyles, prevention, rehabilitation and re-enablement and early detection. There is much more scope for mutual learning and cooperation on research and development to better understand what works, including regarding technological solutions. The importance of the integration of social and health care (a key concern for Eurodiaconia members) is also stressed.

Annex 1 suggests areas for further work: better data gathering and sharing; a methodology for estimating costs of LTC and measures to prevent dependency, a network to develop and spread expertise in assessing the cost-effectiveness of various ways of tackling long-term care needs, promotion of more age-friendly environments, including by adapting the WHO guide to age-friendly cities to the European context, encouraging a systematic and integrated approach to implementing strategies for the secondary and tertiary prevention of frailty and finally cooperation with the  European Group of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to promote greater respect for the human rights of people in long-term care.

Annex 2 contains country profiles for each Member State; 4-8 pages summarising: demographic background, current long-term care provision, carers, policy and recent developments and background statistics. The Eurodiaconia secretariat is interested to know if these descriptions are accurate – members are encouraged to read their country profile and give feedback to the secretariat. The report will be discussed at the upcoming Healthy Ageing and Long-term Care Network in September (see here for more details about the meeting).

The report can be downloaded here and the key messages here.


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