Healthy life years and social engagement

Dorly J.H. Deeg*, Marie Louise Boertje, Henrike Galenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Deeg and colleagues observe that since 2007 healthy life expectancy has not increased across European countries. Combined with the observation that total life expectancy has shown increases, this means that older people on average will spend more years in poor health. People in poorer health generally participate less in social activities than those in better health. Therefore, the question is addressed what is needed for older people in poor health to stay active in society. Using cross-European surveys, individual factors related to social engagement showed only minimal differences between older people in poor and in good health. Efforts at meso- and macro-level to improve the infrastructure for social engagement were identified. Expanding these may be more promising than focusing on individual factors to increase social engagement in older people in poor health.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Ageing in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationMaking an Asset of Longevity
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9789811314179
ISBN (Print)9789811314162
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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