Learning and Active Ageing
Europe is getting older. The ageing of the European population raises issues in almost all aspects of life. Active ageing in Europe calls for a new vision of older people and their social roles that are more in line with the reality of the 21st century.
Lifelong learning is a key component of active ageing, ensuring to develop up-to-date skills right to the end of one’s professional career and continuing post-retirement to improve an individual’s social functioning and well-being and increase the potential for older adults to contribute actively to society through paid employment, volunteering, active citizenship and self-help for independent living.
The relationship between higher educational attainment and living longer with improved health has been established in many countries. Furthermore, the roles of older people in workplace, or as volunteers or informal caregivers, contribute to their personal health and the wellbeing of communities.
This issue of eLearning Papers explores what teaching methods and learning environments are being used effectively to promote lifelong learning among older people. Enrichment and skill building educational programmes for older people must be continuously supported, promoted and facilitated as part of the active ageing process.
Environments can be made much more age-friendly by increasing the public's sensitivity to the needs of older citizens and fostering an awareness of what they can contribute and why we need to mobilise all the human capital they represent. Public campaigns like the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 are giving rise to new initiatives that need to be shared and analysed.