Good practices

ACTIVE80+: Valueing and valorizing the knowledge and skills of people 80+

ACTIVE80+: Valueing and valorizing the knowledge and skills of people 80+

We are witnessing a longevity revolution; in 2060, one in eight Europeans will be 80 years or older. Very old people will thus not be a small minority in our societies but a significant citizen group. General perceptions of very old age are mainly associated with limitations, loss (e.g. abilities, possibilities, autonomy) and health and care issues.

The ACT80+ partnership believes that the attitude towards the very old has to be changed and the focus from inabilities shifted to opportunities and strengths. Therefore, the vision of the Active 80+ project is:

a) to facilitate and provide access to informal learning opportunities for old people with functional limitations or care needs 

b) to combat negative stereotypes about this population group as regards being restricted to the role of consumers of services.

 The core idea of the ACT80+ project was to develop a research-based training concept and train care staff and volunteers to function as coaches for people 80+. Coaches supported older people in developing and realizing their own ideas of learning and active citizenship ("projects").  

Year(s): 2014-2016

Target group(s): care staff workers / elderly people 80+

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 People aged 80+ are at present invisible and underestimated in their abilities, strengths and capability to contribute to our communities. The aim of the project is to foster the change and development of new perspectives on very old age. In order to provide all those interested in a change with the necessary tools, Active 80+ materials were developed. The Handbook for Practitioners targets people 80+ and those willing to work with them in specific ways that set free their creativity, knowledge, skills and enthusiasm. It provides ideas and practical examples to set up activities and projects together with people 80+. This Handbook should inspire both 80+ participants interested in becoming engaged in learning and meaningful activities and coaches supporting them to realize their ideas.   

Type of product

Online resource Course / Training

Brief description of the outcomes

Handbook for practitioners

 The Handbook aims to inform and support its readers in preparing and carrying out projects together with people 80+. Since each group of people, context, and community one works in are unique and have different challenges and solutions, the practical examples and tools in this Handbook should not be seen as a blueprint. They are meant to inspire and may help to set up a project. The information is provided in short sections that can be accessed easily and quickly.  

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

The project contributed to the change of perception of older people 80+. The main outcomes, such as the Handbook for Trainers, the Handbook for Practitioners and the Policy Recommendations as well as comprehensive dissemination activities in all partner countries raised awareness for the issue and encouraged stakeholders in care homes, welfare organizations and at political level to continue their activities in this field. Additionally, experiences gained and outcomes of the ACT80+ project enriched discussions at European level.

 The ACT80+ approach can be easily transferred to other countries.   

Promoter of the initiative: Austria (queraum. cultural and social research - EU coordinator; Austrian Red Cross), Germany (ISIS), Italy (Lunaria), Lithuania (Senior Initiatives Center) and the Netherlands (OVN-NL - Oudere Vrouwen Netwerk - Nederland)

Country: Austria Germany Italy Lithuania Netherlands

Languages available: Dutch English Italian German

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