The practice aims to promote social participation based on the Active Ageing paradigm proposed by the WHO.
Within the paradigm of Active Ageing, social participation is a fundamental pillar. Social functioning is associated with a person's survival and longevity, physical and mental health, performing everyday activities, proper cognitive functioning, satisfaction with life and quality of life. The self-perception that an individual can exercise control over the world is one of the psychological conditions for active ageing. In the bid for an age-friendly society, we can increasingly see greater emphasis being placed on the benefits older adults' participation has for society, from the point of view of both social and economic capital.

The intervention does not aim to eradicate the deficits or weaknesses of people looking for a solution to problems, but rather seeks to promote and mobilise the resources and potentialities that enable individuals, groups or communities to take command and control over their lives.

The practice goals relate to the Methodological level (deepening our knowledge, developing evidence-based programmes, networking amongst researchers, disseminating the programme in other environments); Community level (securing the commitment of communities to be more age-friendly, seeing things from an older person’s perspective, combating negative images of old age); and Personal level (improving quality of life, promoting social participation and stable relationships, enhancing participants' personal empowerment and sense of community).

Resources needed

The project was subsidised by the Provincial Council of Vizcaya between 2013 and 2015. The Handbook and short Guide were subsidised in 2014. €13,500, €15,000 and €15,000 were awarded for 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. The Handbook and the short Guide received an €18,000 subsidy in 2014.

Evidence of success

Evidences of the success of the practice:

- The drafting and publication of a Handbook for implementing the Age-Friendly Cities project in the community.
- The publication of a Provincial Decree whereby the regulatory bases and public announcement of subsidies
- The Diagnostic Report and Action Plan written by the core group of older adults, which were approved in municipal plenary sessions, and then presented publicly and sent to the WHO for perusal and international dissemination.

Potential for learning or transfer

The Project began as a project with local scope and ended as a territorial project with initiatives in diverse localities, developing a support and accompaniment project with normative and international endorsement. A Handbook was designed to implement the practice in other municipalities according to Provincial Decree 39/2016, dated 1st March, issued by the Provincial Council of Vizcaya, whereby the regulatory bases and public announcement of subsidies are approved for projects by local entities which help to make Vizcaya a region for all ages.
Main institution
University of Deusto
País Vasco, Spain (España)
Start Date
September 2013
End Date
June 2016


Please login to contact the author.