Demographic changes (ageing populations) are a challenge for European health systems. Innovative solutions must ensure elderly patients equitable access to good quality, affordable healthcare. De-centralisation and de-institutionalisation in healthcare for the elderly have become policy priorities for European countries. Local governments must have sufficient experience for the necessary integration of health and social services. New ways of looking at health care systems are necessary for reasons of quality, accessibility, and costs-effectiveness. The implementation and co-ordinated monitoring of the health- and care rights of the aged in Europe should be given full attention. There needs to be a handbook on elderly as well as an ombudsman. The exchange of experiences and best practices, oversight of the quality and effectiveness of the health- and care services and the system as such are indispensable.
On 27 September2013the un Council on Human Rights decided to establish for a period of three years a new special procedure entitled ‘Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons (Resolution a/hrc/res/24/20). The Independent Expert should assess the human rights implications of the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing’ (2002) and identify best practices and gaps.