Many European countries, including the UK, are now facing the dual challenge of responding to the demographic changes brought by population ageing, while also implementing tough austerity measures following the 2008 financial and economic crisis.
With increasing pressure on public budgets, this is an important moment to consider what it is that makes a country a good place to grow old, and where possible to learn lessons from our European neighbours on the policies and services that are most effective in giving older people a good quality of life.
This new evidence will contribute to a national debate in the UK about our aspirations for our older citizens and how we might best achieve them in an increasingly challenging fiscal environment.
The methodology for this research had two main elements:
• a literature review to explore each country’s unique demographic context and identify the institutional frameworks, policies and services that are in place to support older people
• quantitative analysis of European Social Survey data to compare experiences of ageing across the four EU countries in the five policy domains of income and poverty, health and health provision, well-being, social inclusion and participation, and age discrimination.