Transforming the future of ageing, SAPEA report

In Europe and around the world, people are living longer than ever before. This is one of the greatest achievements of the past century, but it also brings challenges for European societies and the EU as a whole.

We must adjust to an ageing and shrinking workforce, and find financially viable ways to deliver high-quality health and social care for all.

What the report says

SAPEA’s evidence review report shows that the ageing process needs to be transformed. Europe must tackle the challenges presented by ageing in every generation.

  • When it comes to predicting how people age, evidence indicates that genetic factors are relatively minor compared to lifestyle behaviours such as a healthy diet and physical activity. Policies to promote these behaviours from early childhood, and even in unborn children, contribute directly to a healthy ageing process across people’s whole lives.
  • Ageing in the future will take place in a very different context from the past and will be profoundly affected by phenomena such as climate change, air pollution and antibiotic resistance, as well as ongoing social changes. Policies will only be successful if they accommodate these changes.
  • Technology is already changing the experience of ageing, including wearable and assistive devices and the advent of AI. But barriers of acceptance and practicality must be overcome.
  • Education improvements at a young age are vital not only to improve individual health, but also to equip our future workforce with the skills it needs to support an ageing population in a rapidly changing society.

Read the full report here


SAPEA brings together outstanding expertise in engineering, humanities, medicine, natural and social sciences from over 100 academies, young academies and learned societies across Europe.

SAPEA is part of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism. Together with the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, we provide independent scientific advice to European Commissioners to support their decision-making. We also work to strengthen connections between Europe’s academies and Academy Networks, and to stimulate debate in Europe about the role of evidence in policy-making.

SAPEA is funded by grant 737432 from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.

eConference: Strengthening Older People’s Rights in Times of Digitalisation

Homes4Life partner AGE Platform Europe is co-organising an online event with the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations (BAGSO).

The topic of the conference will be on the “Strengthening Older People’s Rights in Times of Digitalisation – Lessons learned from COVID-19”

The online event will take place on Monday, 28 September 2020 afternoon, 1.30 p.m. 4.00 p.m. and Tuesday, 29 September 2020 morning, 9.30 a.m. 12.30 p.m.

Representatives from all EU Member States, EU and international institutions, civil society organisations, national human rights institutes as well as all interested individuals are invited to participate in the event and exchange views and ideas on the challenges and opportunities related to digitalisation and older people.

Building on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference will put forward recommendations for EU and national policy actions, ahead of the EPSCO-Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council’s conclusions ‘Human Rights, Participation and Well-Being of Older Persons in the Era of Digitalisation’ on 13 October 2020.

The programme is available in English GermanFrench 
Read the invitation in
EnglishGerman – French 

Register here to get the access code for the online-conference. It will be broadcasted via livestream (in the browser of your device).

EESC webinar on affordable housing

The EESC held a webinar on affordable housing on September 10th 2020, where MEP Kim Van Sparrentak presented her position on housing. MEP Kim van Sparrentak is rapporteur for the European Parliament in the Employment and Social Affairs Committee on the report: ‘Access to Decent and Affordable Housing for All’. The report outlines proposals to tackle the housing crisis in Europe. It sets out the concrete policy and legislative measures Europe should take to transform the situation and ensure that housing is decent, affordable, and accessible for all.

The conclusion of the webinar is readable here and echoes the message of Mr Coulon voiced in 2019.
EESC president Luca Jahier said: Since all the countless initiatives, aid and investments for the benefit of the residential housing sector at Community, national, regional and local level fail to resolve this structural crisis, the EESC is proposing a European action plan for decent and affordable housing in the framework of the implementation of the 19th principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the future “building” plan of the Green Deal. This plan should include a set of strategic measures helping Member States, regions and European cities to relaunch the supply of decent and affordable housing in a sustainable way, while strengthening their health and energy performance.

Homes4Life at the European Week of Cities and Regions

Homes4Life is proud to participate to the #EURegionsWeek 2020 which will offer to participants more than 500 digital working sessions to discover over three consecutive weeks in October, from 5-22 October, covering various topics along the thematic priorities Empowering Citizens; Cohesion and Cooperation; and Green Europe.

Continue reading “Homes4Life at the European Week of Cities and Regions”

Homes4Life Italian pilot site in Treviso

On July 17th 2020, the Homes4Life Certification scheme was presented by Prof. Gian Marco Revel of Università Politecnica delle Marche during an event organized by ISRAA in Treviso.
Prof. Gian Marco Revel presenting the Homes4Life project and its certification scheme

During this occasion the UNIVPM staff visited the pilot site of ‘Borgo Mazzini Smart Co-Housing’ which is currently testing the Homes4Life Certification Scheme.

Visit of the Italian pilot ‘Borgo Mazzini Smart Co-housing’ pilot in Treviso which is one of the pilot site testing the Homes4Life certification scheme
‘Borgo Mazzini Smart Co-housing’ pilot in Treviso
Further details on Facebook here.

Homes4Life Certification Scheme Webinar

The Homes4Life project organised a webinar on 9 July to present the Certification Scheme that has been developed during the past months. Participants had the opportunity to share their views on its strengths and weaknesses.

The webinar was moderated by Menno Hinkema, from TNO, who has also worked on the Taxonomy on which the Certification Scheme is based. The Taxonomy answers crucial questions in a structured and detailed way, such as:

  • What does it mean for a home to be age-friendly?
  • Which functions does one’s home have to fulfill?
  • Which elements contribute to its fitness for purpose?

Concretely, it compiles a set of indicators that can form the basis for more specific requirements and verifications in the certification pilots.

Christophe Gerard and Hervé Duret, from Certivéa, presented then the principles of the Homes4Life Certification Scheme and how it operates.

It is first of all open to all types of organisations (public or private, profit or non-profit) as well as to individuals. The Certification can be applied to buildings in design or in operation phase. It is structured around five main clusters which aim at covering all the aspects of an age-friendly environment. The personal and social ties or the economic capability, which contribute to the quality of life in housing, amount to 70% of the final score, while the more traditional aspects of adapting the home environment amount to 30%. The assessment method is based on design specifications, features and quality through a set of qualitative and quantitative requirements and an evaluative survey among the residents.

Continue reading “Homes4Life Certification Scheme Webinar”

Age-friendly housing in the context of the COVID-19 crisis | Webinar report

The Homes4Life project together with Housing Europe, the Centre for Ageing Better and the European Social Network organised a webinar on 30 June about age-friendly housing in the context of COVID-19.

Our homes and living environments are a key determinant of our overall health and impact upon our personal, emotional, economic and social wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic not only exposed more starkly Europe’s housing crisis, but also showed the fatal impact on older people living in congregated care settings and impact of poor housing on people’s health and wellbeing. Moderated by Nadia Kamel from Eurocarers, the aim of this  webinar was to increase awareness and further build the case for quality, resilient and age-friendly housing in Europe.

Silvia Urra from Tecnalia, Project Coordinator of the Homes4Life project introduced Homes4Life project by reminding the audience that healthy ageing is not only about the absence of disease but rather about our ability to do the things we value most: this depends not only on our intrinsic capacity (our physical and mental health) but also on our environment. If our homes do not help to foster our inclusion in a community, this may lead to isolation and loneliness.

Continue reading “Age-friendly housing in the context of the COVID-19 crisis | Webinar report”

Webinar 9 July 2020 | Homes4Life, a certification scheme for auditing an age-friendly environment

  • Save the date!  Thursday, 9 July 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CEST
  • Register for free to this webinar here.

Considering the need for quality and resilient housing that can adapt as people’s needs evolve with age, the Homes4Life project intends to promote an age-friendly environment. Facing this challenge, a first version of a certification scheme has been developed and is being tested in pilot sites. Being innovative in its approach and process, the Homes4Life certification scheme takes into account a large array of indicators and helps raising the awareness of stakeholders for better environments for ageing people.

This webinar is proposed by Certivéa (French evaluation and certification organisation, focused on sustainable buildings, infrastructures, and urban topics). It will introduce the Homes4Life certification scheme and enable the audience to provide their views on the certification’s strengths and limits.


Christophe Gérard – Scientific and technical director, Certivéa

Hervé Duret – Consultant on the uses in buildings and cities, Certivéa

Menno Hinkema – Senior researcher in health care and consultant in health services, TNO


  • Introduction: Presentation of the project, agenda and objectives
  • Principles and structure of a certification scheme: what are the needs?
  • Upstream: the concepts behind an Age-friendly environment
  • Core: general characteristics of Homes4Life certification scheme
  • Downstream: exploitation and management of Homes4Life certification scheme
  • Q&A with the webinar’s participants