The European Council adopted conclusions on human rights, participation and well-being of older persons in the era of digitalisation. The conclusions take a rights-based approach and address various concerns related to the well-being of older persons, giving due regard to the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Council highlights the opportunities, but also the potential risks for older persons in a digitalised world. It recalls that digitalisation helped reaching older persons during the COVID-19 crisis, but also that the digital gap between generations is significant and increases with age.
The Council invites the member states and the Commission, in accordance with their competences, to strengthen social inclusion and mutual solidarity between generations, include ageing in all policy fields and involve older persons, in particular older women, in all decision-making processes affecting their lives. The Council also calls for ensuring that the necessary protective measures in times of health crises are proportionate to older persons’ rights, interests and well-being. Further to that, the conclusions invite the member states and the Commission to ensure that digitalisation, in particular, in health, social and long term care services, will facilitate access to and use of services, while maintaining non-digital services.
The Council invites the Commission to consider dedicating a chapter of its 'Green Paper on Ageing' to the rights of older persons, including older persons with disabilities. The Commission is also invited to continue to support member states in actions aimed at prevention of chronic diseases, health promotion and strengthening the development of long-term health care policies, with a focus on digitalisation.