• 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 Friday, February 27, 2015
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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

Brochure highlighting projects with ICT solutions for healthy ageing published

In February the European Commission published a small brochure online entitled “Healthy and Active Ageing: For you and with you”. It starts with brief introduction of the challenges related to ageing, a list of relevant EU programmes and then summarises six EU-funded projects that propose different types of IT solutions to improving the health and quality of life of older people.

Click here for more information and to download the brochure.



Eurodiaconia Seminar, Award and Exhibition focus on active ageing

06 December 2012

img 7409On 5 December 2012 Eurodiaconia led a seminar in the European Parliament hosted by MEP Heinz K. Becker highlighting the problem of social exclusion and isolation of older people as barriers to active ageing, barriers to living a life in dignity. Whilst active ageing and intergenerational solidarity have been high on the European agenda this year, Eurodiaconia points out that social exclusion and isolation of older people has not been addressed sufficiently and needs to be tackled before we can expect older people to ‘age actively’.img 7558

This event was also an opportunity for Eurodiaconia’s members to present innovative and inter-generational projects that allow senior citizens to meet their full potential whilst engaging with people of all ages in a community environment. Presentations included the sharing of best practices, an inspirational poem and a thought-provoking video and speeches to remind all of us of the importance of a dignified life in older age. The most integrated project promoting active ageing was honored by Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia, and MEP Heinz K. Becker with the Eurodiaconia Award 2012.  This year’s winner was Diakonie Austria with the project “Miteinander leben - Lagergasse”. The Norwegian project “In Search of the Good Life” was also recognised for its innovative approach and Highly Commended.

img 7566As this seminar consisted of several highlights, it also announced the publication of Eurodiaconia’s document on ageing, highlighting the innovative elements of the ten award entries and accompanying Eurodiaconia’s political messages about ageing.

The seminar was followed by the opening of a photo exhibition in the European Parliament on ageing, showcasing the work of Eurodiaconia’s members in working with seniors.

Diaconal organisations discuss creating age-friendly societies and treatment of dementia

15 November 2012

Diaconal organisations and partners from Central and Eastern Europe met with German diaconal partners in Berlin from the 5-9 November to commemorate 20 years of cooperation and look to the future, particularly on how to address the challenges associated with an ageing society.

The UN listed demographic ageing as one of three major global challenges in 21st century. Due to increased life expectancy, the numbers of people with dementia will increase hugely. Participants heard how actions can be taken to reduce the chances of dementia, even for persons with genetic tendencies to develop it. Preventive actions mainly relate to a healthy lifestyle; including physical exercise, a balanced diet, not smoking, drinking in moderation, as well as keeping the brain mentally active. Even once dementia has started, such actions can also help.berlin 1

Heather Roy, Eurodiaconia Secretary General, highlighted Eurodiaconia's concerns and recommendations, including the importance of addressing the problems of social isolation, loneliness and poverty of older people, tackling the taboo of dementia and ensuring an integrated approach to service provision and accessible environments. Other speakers echoed these concerns. Poverty and exclusion increase chances of developing dementia. Isolation can lead to depression, a risk factor for dementia, and persons in poverty often have unhealthy lifestyles or environments, other risk factors. One project presented worked with housing associations to reach out to isolated people, another approach is creating neighbourhood networks to connect communities, and in its most developed form “integrated service areas”.

Experts in dementia spoke of the difficulty in diagnosing it, especially in diagnosing the different sub-types. This means that treatment is often not well targeted. In the early stages of dementia, memory training can have as much impact as drugs and physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy should be more widely used.

berlin 2Awareness raising among both the public and within the medical profession is essential to address stigmatisation and break the taboo of dementia. It was clear from the discussions that the provision of information for families who have a relative with dementia needs to be improved, as well as family support, which in turn improves the life situation of the people with dementia. The Japanese use of case managers and the joint training of volunteers and professionals to work with older people were held up as good practice.

A full report, including outcomes from the group discussions and presentations, will be available from the conference organisers in English, German and Russian.

European Commission publishes "the EU contribution to active ageing and solidarity between generations"

8 October 2012

As part of activities related to the 2012 European Year, the Commission has published a 24-page brochure entitled "The EU contribution to Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations", outlining the role of EU funding programmes and strategies in this field. While it is acknowledged that most of the responsibility for dealing with this rapidly changing demographic falls to the member states, the EU institutions can support national projects and policy change. The publication aims to inspire Member States to take the necessary steps to ensure continuing solidarity between generations. Existing EU level measures are looked at, as well as looking at others still being discussed. 

The Commission website states, "The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 provides an opportunity to think about what we can do to make active ageing a reality and to commit to new initiatives in the years to come."

The brochure can be downloaded in all languages here.

Eurodiaconia Award 2012 goes to “Miteinander leben - Lagergasse”, Graz, Austria: integrated assisted living communities

10 October 2012

The 2012 Eurodiaconia Award will be given to “Miteinander leben", member of Eurodiaconia member Diakonie Austria, for the integrated assisted living community Lagergasse, Graz, Austria. In this community, people of all ages and occupations, from students and families to retirees and people with mental illnesses, share one roof. Each have their own space and maintain their autonomy, but they are integrated socially into the whole of the building, and can be assisted with tasks when necessary. It was described as "the perfect starting point for getting old in the middle of the city."

activity cenre

The Norwegian project In Search of the Good Life will also be recognised and Highly Commended. This is a mix of integrated activities and services run from the Engelsborg “open meeting centre” in Oslo, Norway, part of Eurodiaconia member Church City Mission Oslo. People of all ages in the neighborhood come both to volunteer and to take part in activities at the centre, which range from dancing to sport to simply eating together. There are various programmes available to keep people active and to strengthen the social connections of participants.

In honour of the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the Award called for projects and services that contribute to promoting active ageing, in residential care and in the community.Entries were marked on their diaconal values, transferability, effectiveness, novelty, impact on active ageing and fostering solidarity between generations.

Ten entries were received in and all the Award entries will all be featured in a publication, highlighting their innovative elements and accompanying Eurodiaconia’s political messages about ageing. On the 5th and 6th of December there will be a seminar in the European Parliament looking at active ageing and social inclusion where the publication will be launched and the award presented, followed by an exhibition of members’ photos and a member meeting. For more information and to register for the meetings please see here.

More information about the Award can be found here.

Photos courtesy of:

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