Dignity and wellbeing of older persons
in need of care

Our shared responsibility

Toolkit for policymakers and practitioners - AGE Platform Europe


“Human dignity is inviolable. Age and dependency cannot be the grounds for restrictions on any inalienable human right and civil liberty acknowledged by international standards and embedded in democratic constitutions”

European Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of older people in need of care and assistance, EUSTaCEA project, 2010

Why this toolkit?

This toolkit is intended to support at policymakers and practitioners who would like to evolve towards ensuring the wellbeing and dignity of older persons in need of care. It shows how they can adopt a rights-based approach in long-term care policies and daily practice.

It has been developed by AGE Platform Europe, a Europe-wide platform of organisations advocating for the rights and wellbeing of older persons. AGE aims to voice the interests and expectations of the 30 million older persons who belong to its member organisations, by facilitating the exchange of views and practices and influencing the policies of European Union institutions.

This toolkit provides essential information on the current policy and legal instruments in the field of the rights of older persons in need of care and support. It gathers evidence, ongoing policy processes and the existing legal and policy frameworks to help formulate policy responses that adopt a rights-based approach to care. This toolkit also includes practical tools to enforce, in everyday care delivery, the rights and dignity of older people in need of care.

With this toolkit, AGE also aims to highlight how policymakers and practitioners can concretely improve the enforcement of the rights of older persons in need of care, and promote their dignity and wellbeing.

It aims to be relevant at all levels, for a wide range of health and social care managers and practitioners, civil society organisations, policy planners, etc. Whether you are involved in designing or monitoring policies, or in their implementation, we hope that this toolkit will help you in your role to enforce the rights of older persons in need of care in practice and that it will trigger concrete action on the field. We also hope this toolkit will act as a catalyst to enable stakeholders at all levels and in all relevant fields to work better together to guarantee a dignified life for persons as they age.

The content of this toolkit is based on accumulated knowledge over the last years in the fields of the fight against elder abuse, quality care and human rights at European and international level. In particular, it is inspired by the numerous exchanges of experiences held in two European projects (EUSTaCEA and WeDO), the expertise of AGE members and partners, and the events AGE organises annually to mark the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The toolkit includes:

  • an overview of the current legal and policy framework in the European Union protecting older persons in need of care (Part 1) and of international instruments and processes (Part 2)
  • an overview of the challenges faced by many older persons throughout Europe, and what AGE has identified as key priorities for action at EU level (Part 3)
  • a toolbox to help policymakers and practitioners promote the wellbeing and dignity of older persons in need of care in practice (Part 4)

This online toolkit is available in PDF version to facilitate reading HERE.

For questions and further information, please contact Borja Arrue, Policy and Project Officer responsible for long-term care and elder abuse at or AGE secretariat at

We thank all those who contributed to this toolkit, and in particular Maude Luherne, member of AGE Platform Europe staff until 2016, who created it, Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Platform Europe’s Secretary-General, Nena Georgantzi, AGE Platform Europe’s Human Rights Officer, the members of the WeDO partnership and of AGE’s task force on Dignified Ageing who continuously share their experiences, knowledge and information on how to improve the wellbeing and dignity of older persons in need of care.

This online publication is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme of the European Union.

European Union Logo

A short quiz to start: Do you know…?

This introduction quiz is not aimed to test your knowledge but rather highlight essential data in the field of care for older persons, before going into more details.

Video: What is that?

This video was used in the WeDO2 Quality care training package

If you have difficulties to watch it, try clicking on the Youtube logo at the bottom right of the video.

About AGE Platform Europe

AGE Platform Europe is a non-profit European network that brings together about 130 non-profit organisations of or for people aged 50+, which have a membership of over 30 million older people in the European Union. AGE aims to fight age discrimination and promote the rights of older persons; voice the interests and concerns of older European citizens and foster their involvement at EU level to shape adequate policies; and raise awareness of ageing-related issues and of the opportunities and challenges that arise from the ageing of Europe’s population.
For more information on our activities visit: