The University of Deusto is an active member of the European Innovation Partnership Active and Healthy Ageing since its creation in 2011. In 2016 the University of Deusto together with the Biscay Provincial Council submitted a commitment to renew its participation in the EIP AHA. The commitment B4All: Biscay, a Territory for All includes the declaration of intention to keep working together in the context of the following EIP AHA Action Groups:
- A2: Falls Prevention
- A3: Lifespan Health Promotion & Prevention of Age Related Frailty and Disease
- D4: Age Friendly Environments
The primary goal of this Commitment is to create optimal conditions to promote active ageing in Biscay through partners’ cooperation in the planning, implementation and assessment of policies designed to enhance wellbeing.
Through this commitment, the University of Deusto and the Biscay Provincial Council illustrate the extensive interaction and cooperation between the community, the University and the government to improve elderly well-being in the Basque region. The active participation of senior citizens is at the core of this cooperation model. They work hand-in-hand with policy makers and the researchers of the University of Deusto. The results of this collaborative work can be shared with other organisations and replicated in other communities to support policy making.
Between 2012 and 2015 the Biscay Provincial Government and the University of Deusto have been working together in the identification and promotion of processes to support and encourage age-friendly environments in Biscay. The University of Deusto has been working in two municipalities (Durango and Mungia) and it has helped Durango municipality in systematising the participatory process that led to its admission into the World Health Organisation Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities in July 2014. Building up on this experience, the University was invited to an ad hoc commission set forth to analyse and make recommendations towards a province-wide initiative on age-friendly environments (AFE) and has developed a Manual for the implementation of AFE in Biscay’s municipalities: Manual for the Implementation of the WHO AGE-FRIENDLY Cities Project in your Community.
Additionally, the Biscay Council for Seniors established a working commission “Making Biscay an Age Friendly Environment”. This Commission is analysing the strategy proposed by the Biscay Provincial Council, which has four main tasks:
- Producing a manual on how to turn localities into age-friendly environments
- Launching a call for grants for organisations and local governments to undertake age-friendly environments projects
- Empowering and fostering the participation of senior citizens in age-friendly environments projects
- Creating a network of age friendly territories (e.g. municipalities, organisations, experienced individuals)
The University of Deusto is also part of the Commitment ‘Supporting Scaling-up of Innovative Solutions at Grass Root Level Across the EU’ led by AGE Platform.