May 12, 2010

EUROPE: AGE urges focus on needs of older generations in family policies

BRUSSELS, Belgium / AGE Platform Europe / May 12, 2010

AGE calls for greater attention to be paid to the role and needs of older generations in family policies to respond to the demographic challenge and promote greater cooperation and solidarity between generations

On the eve of the United Nations International Day of Families on May 15,  AGE has called for greater attention to be paid to the role and needs of older generations in the family in the context of demographic change and the promotion of intergenerational solidarity. Greater emphasis should be placed on the role that older generations can play to support younger members of family, on needs of older people in family and on seniors employment policies.

Europe needs to keep people at work for longer and attention must be paid to needs of families with older relatives, says a press note from AGE.

AGE Platform Europe is a European network of around 150 organisations of and for people aged 50+ which aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million senior citizens in the European Union and to raise awareness on the issues that concern them most.

AGE seeks implementation of family-friendly policies and programmes. An emphasis is urged to note the changing nature and diversity of family structures and forms, and geographical distances that can prevent family members of all age groups from providing care and support to their dependent relatives.
Also crucial are better measures for reconciliation of work life and family life,  and an integrated approach to child and elder care services, as well as fully-paid carer leave for those who care for a dependent relative (a child, a relative with a disability or a dependent elderly person), notes AGE.

The European Alliance for Families can use its influence in shaping family policies which are still unevenly developed across the European Union. Policies should encompass a much broader vision of families with dependent elderly. The family remains the main source of intergenerational solidarity in most Member States. However, only in few cases social policy is adapted to families of today. A re-think is called for on family policies by working towards better division of labour between men and women and between the generations.

Greater awareness and understanding of the vital role of older people as grandparents and contributors to the family is also needed, the organisation has emphasised. [rc]

Source: AGE Platform Europe