The ageing of European populations presents health, long-term care, and welfare systems with new challenges. Although reports of ageing as a fundamental threat to the welfare state seem exaggerated, societies have to embrace various policy options to improve the robustness of health, long-term care, and welfare systems in Europe and to help people to stay healthy and active in old age. These policy options include prevention and health promotion, better self-care, increased coordination of care, improved management of hospital admissions and discharges, improved systems of long-term care, and new work and pension arrangements. Ageing of the health workforce is another challenge, and policies will need to be pursued that meet the particular needs of older workers (ie, those aged 50 years or older) while recruiting young practitioners.
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