Meeting the challenge of aging to come in Europe

We did not choose this profession by chance. Supporting aging is a vocation. Complex, demanding, inspiring, it is also a permanent questioning. For a European group like Colisee, the demographic prospects of the old continent, which has never been that aptly named, present a challenge of unprecedented magnitude.

W e are facing of a new demographic transition. After that which began at the end of the 18th century in Western countries with the transition to low death and birth rates, the coming transition will also have major impacts on all aspects of our societies. Consider that natural balance of UE-27 should end by 2050 in the loss of nearly 45 million inhabitants. And in this Europe, those 80 and over will represent 10% of the population.

We could dramatize the issue, but what would be the point? We must now lead ecological transition and demographic transition simultaneously. This is precisely the purpose of our foundational meaning: “Fostering positive ageing to drive society forward”. Decrease our environmental footprint, while preparing for an older society. After all, we learned in a matter of weeks how to live with a pandemic. Vaccination campaigns have paid off and one day this vaccine will be trivialized like the one against the flu. But at the global level, if we want to protect the planet with equity, we will have to adopt a worldwide vaccination strategy. The old continent will have to reach out to emerging countries. Global health and intergenerational support is eminently a matter of demographic and ecological transition.

And indeed, old age is not a disease, the aging of Europe will only be problematic if we do not prepare for it and continue to look at it negatively. If, on the contrary, apprehension gives way to benevolence, as we do in Colisee establishments and services, applying the Montessori method for instance, the challenge remains arduous, but it is also exciting. Exciting because the coming old people, the boomers at the top, will be as demanding as they are fascinating. Betting on their abilities is accepting to benefit from their knowledge, wisdom, and energy!

Adapting the offer, practices and development methods of our activities to new aspirations and lifestyles will be a necessity, but also a tremendous challenge for us who advocate both innovation and quality of life. At a time when the French government procrastinates on its ambition - old age law or not? - while three quarters of the French are in favor, we want a real wind of enthusiasm to blow in the sector.

By staking on the resources of all the actors of old age, by relying on the professionalism acquired over the last thirty years, by demonstrating voluntarism and capacity for anticipation, nothing will prevent the advent of an elderly society happy to be so. So, let us forget about ageism, stop improvising and roll up our sleeves!

Christine JEANDEL
Colisee Group president
> Montessori method: for the elderly too!

> CSR in action: reducing the carbon footprint

> Colisee and the vaccination success

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About Colisée
With 16 000 collaborators, COLISEE Group is a leading European player with benchmark expertise in serving and caring for the elderly. Its network of medical facilities and residences with services in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and China welcomes more than 25 000 residents and patients. Colisée offers also home services. Its majority shareholders are EQT and CDPQ.
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