SHAFE implemented through NET4Age-Friendly - involving stakeholders

03 May 2022 |

The concept of active aging projects a society in which older adults are encouraged and supported to live longer, to lead a life as healthy, productive, participatory and independent as possible. The meaning and notion of SHAFE as a holistic approach that promotes the alignment of policies and strategies is a unique roadmap for the implementation in and across Europe. When we acknowledge the serious challenges, especially those related to demographic change, is not possible anymore to keep positions for individual interest.

In this sense, the "Persona" project was built on the concept of active aging, and it meant to support SHAFE’s aim of developing a roadmap for aligning policies and strategies on active aging across Europe. The main goal was interviewing prominent personalities in the field of medicine and public administration in order to involve decision-makers in the implementation of public policies for achieving the objectives of Net4Age-Friendly and SHAFE across Romania.

Prof. Univ. Dr. Luiza Spiru: “Longevity medicine is situated at the crossroads of traditional allopathic medicine, personalized, preventive, participatory, predictive research medicine, and genomic medicine. These days, we aren’t just thinking about living for a long time; living for a long time is in vain if we are not active and independent.”

The objectives of the policies developed to implement this concept are to reduce premature physical aging, to encourage the older population to work longer, to continue to contribute to society through civic and political activities long after retirement and to have an independent life even at older ages.

Prof. Univ. Dr. Diane Vancea: "We have to contribute to the development of these concepts: positive aging, aging in a state of happiness in our own homes independently. As such, these new concepts need to be disseminated and popularized. We (the “Ovidius” University of Constanța) aim to introduce these concepts in our study programs, to find solutions in order to bring them to the attention of our students and the broader public.”

Active aging can reduce public spending on old age, produce higher current and future incomes for the older population, lead to greater economic growth, and create a more inclusive society in which all people, of all ages, play a role and be able to contribute economically and socially.

Active life in old age has become a reality for many members of the current generation of older Europeans. The rich Nordic and Western European countries are at the top of the active aging rankings. Sweden is in first place, and the United Kingdom is in fourth place. These leading positions are largely due to policies that support levels of employment among people reaching retirement age, but also to policies to ensure the income of the retired population.

Dr. Cristian Bușoi, MEP: "We are talking more and more often about smart homes, about smart environments in which we live thanks to technological solutions and artificial intelligence. Certainly, everything that will be invented in the years to come will be extremely important for [helping older adults in] monitoring the health and daily condition of an older person, to ensure that [the older adult] is cared for and well-integrated [into society].”

It is desirable that Romania take impact measures to protect and support the older adults, through a careful review of strategies that allow all people to enjoy their rights, but also adequate monitoring and evaluation, by establishing indicators and benchmarks for the implementation of strategies.

These indicators, if they cover all aspects of older people's lives, could be a real testament to the positive development of the implementation of human rights among the older population (a Eurobarometer, but at national / local level).

Older people need help and encouragement to stay active as they age in their own communities.

Conf. Univ. Dr. Diana Păun: "I believe that e-health tools can help us meet these challenges (brought on by an ever-growing aging population), while ensuring that the basic principles of our health care mission are upheld helping people to remain active and independent for as long as possible, to ensure [their] inclusion and better access to healthcare, and to provide public services at the lowest possible cost.”

Prof.Univ.Dr. Luiza Spiru: “The house must also be the at-home hospital: it must be equipped with easy-to-use technology, accessible to anyone who knows how to use a tablet or a smartphone; these are the things we need to learn early on. Active and healthy aging means preparing for this long time in our lives when we will have thought of the home space as a potential at-home hospital, with simple and efficient technology that communicates in real time with the family doctor and other specialists. 

The main aim of NET4Age-Friendly is to establish an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers from all sectors to foster awareness, and to support the creation and implementation of smart, healthy indoor and outdoor environments for present and future generations.


Mr. Cristian-Silviu BUŞOI, MD, PhD, Member of the European Parliament

Mrs. Diana-Loreta Păun, MD, PhD, Romanian Presidency Health Strategy Consultant

Mrs. Diane-Paula-Corina Vancea, PhD, Professor of Economics, President of the Senate, Ovidius University of Constanta

Mrs. Luiza Spiru, MD, PhD, Professor of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Old Age Psychiatry “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest