Specific changes of individual and social nature influence the quality of life of older citizens in European countries. Physiological decline combined with income reduction are connected with particular needs, fulfilment of which depends on individual circumstances and existing rights in every environment and country. The gaps in quality of life in elderly are widening by existing economic and social crisis between and within European countries. Lives of physically and financially independent older citizens cannot be compared with peers living in poverty and dependence. Level of human and social rights of those living in poverty mirrors not only financial situations of societies but also ethical standards of their governments. Increasing longevity in all European countries challenges not only quality of life in older age, but societies as a whole. A reviewed political relation to demographic changes is necessary. It should be followed by various innovative practices, among which solidarity and social potentials of local environments should be supported by the neglected capacities of elderly themselves in the realisation of their physical, social and mental well-being.

Emonicum Institute of Healthy and Active Life, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Quality of life in elderly: a European perspective