Senior Friendly Communities: Designing an approach for cross-border exchange of public health policy

Mignon C. P. Schichel*, Marja Y. Veenstra*, Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen*, Marjolein E. de Vugt*, Brigitte A. M. van der Zanden*, Frans R. J. Verhey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Communities are generally responsible for creating health policies for people with dementia, people with late-life depression and informal caregivers. So far, the exchange of knowledge and best practices on older people's public health between communities has remained limited, especially across borders. The cross-border Interreg Senior Friendly Communities (SFC) approach focuses on older people's public health in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine, a border region of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. It aims at supporting communities to promote healthy ageing, especially for people with dementia, people with late-life depression and informal caregivers. It makes use of the WHO's frameworks of Active and Healthy Ageing, with the pillars health, participation and security. The methodology of the SFC approach consists of a five-step approach: (1) creating an infrastructure for the SFC project (2); including communities (3); baseline assessments in the participating communities (4); creating an activity buffet of a variety of activities promoting older people's wellbeing; and (5) implementing the activities, conducting post-implementation assessments to measure the impact of SFC and creating a sustainability plan for communities to continue on this path. This paper discusses this five-step SFC approach that aims to address the limited use of cross-border exchange of health policies and best practices. It can serve as a guideline for other regions that deem the cross-border exchange of health policy valuable. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1136
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Ageing in place
  • Healthy ageing
  • Health policy
  • Informal care
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • CARE

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