Concepts and definitions


Ageism: is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Synonym Age discrimination. Source: WHO

Active Ageing IndexAAI: The Active Ageing Index (AAI) allows measuring and monitor national progress in ensuring activity and quality of life of the ageing populations in the European Union and in other UNECE countries. The index measures the extent to which older people can realize their full potential in terms of total and healthy life expectancy, participation in the economy, in social and cultural life and in terms of independent living.

This index is an initiative undertaken by the UNECE, the European Commission (DG Employment), Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and the European Centre within the framework of the 2012 European Year on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. Source AGE Platform

Adulthood: The period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained. Source Britannica

Age-Friendly Environments – AFE: Creating age-friendly environments means adapting our everyday living environment to the needs of the ageing population in order to empower people to age in better physical and mental health, promote their social inclusion and active participation and help them maintain their autonomy and a good quality of life in their old age. They enable older workers to remain at work for longer, lower the pressure on traditional care and assistance and on public budgets, and boost the economy through demand for innovative solutions. Source AGE Platform

Adolescence: The period of time in a person’s life when they are developing into an adult. Source: Cambridge Dictionary


Cross-generational mentoring: Acting as a mentor, guiding, advising and facilitating the cross-generational relationships, procuring a mutual benefit  from this action. The mentoring can be made from and older generation to a young and the other way around. This mentoring can be related in a practical form of the concept Intergenerational Practice (IP), developed by the European Map of Intergenerational Learning. Source: ISRCenter.


Design-for-All: based on the respect of human diversity, the “Design for All” approach means adapting the environments, products and services so as everyone, regardless of age, gender, capabilities or cultural background, can participate on an equal basis in the construction of our society in all types of activity (i.e. economic, social, cultural, entertainment, and recreational). This expression is sometimes replaced by ‘Inclusive Design’ which has a similar meaning. Source: 


The European Innovation Partnerships (EIP): EU initiative introduced by the ‘Innovation Union’ – one of the 7 flagship initiatives in the framework of the EU 2020 Strategy – to address major societal challenges. The overarching goal of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) is, by 2020, to enable citizens to live longer independently in good health by increasing the average number of healthy life years by two. It seeks to foster EU citizens’ healthy, active and independent living and improve the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems, while creating new opportunities for businesses. Source AGE Platform

Elder abuse: Describe a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action which causes harm or distress to an older person or violates their human rights. It may include physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation and neglect. Elder abuse happens everywhere, including at home within the family, at home with health and social care services, or in care institutions. It can be intentional or unintentional. Source AGE Platform


Golden Age: A period of time, sometimes imaginary, when everyone was happy, or when a particular art, business, etc. was very successful. Source: Cambridge Dictionary.

Generational Diversity: The inclusion of people from diverse generations in a group or work place. Source: ISRCenter.

Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities:  The WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities (the Network) was established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide. Source: WHO


Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons: Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons: Human rights expert of the United Nations (UN) system with the mission to look into how states protect and promote the rights of older people. Source:

Intergenerational: the term implies the involvement of members of two or more generations in activities that potentially can make them aware of different (generational) perspectives. It implies increasing interaction, cooperation to achieve common goals, a mutual influence and the possibility of change (hopefully, a change that entails improvement) (Villar 2008).

Feliciano Villar (2007) Intergenerational or Multigenerational? A Question of Nuance, Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 5:1, 115-117, DOI: 10.1300/J194v05n01_11 

Intergenerational Integration: the mutual and continuous exchange between different generations regarding knowledge, and sharing of common grounds that enrich and expands individuals, and systems perspectives.

Intergenerational Integration in the labour market: the mutual and continuous exchange between different generations regarding knowledge, and sharing of common working grounds that enrich and expands individuals, and systems perspectives.

Intergenerational Learning (IL) describes the way that people of all ages can learn together and from each other. IL is an important part of Lifelong Learning, where the generations work together to gain skills, values and knowledge.

Beyond the transfer of knowledge, IL fosters reciprocal learning relationships between different generations and helps to develop social capital and social cohesion in our ageing societies. IL is one way of addressing the significant demographic change we are experiencing across Europe and is as a way of enhancing intergenerational solidarity through intergenerational practice (IP).

Intergenerational practice (IP): Its aim is to bring together people from different generations in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities, which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building communities and neighbourhoods where people respect each other and are better connected. IP is inclusive, building on the positive resources that both the younger and older generations have to offer each other and those around them.

Many changes in society – such as increased geographic mobility – have led to generations frequently becoming distanced or segregated from one another, particularly younger and older people. This separation can lead to unrealistic, negative stereotypes between generations and a decrease in positive exchanges between them. Yet these separated generations have resources of value to each other and share areas of concern – for example, both younger and older generations are often marginalized in decision-making that directly affects their lives.

IL is an effective way to address a number of issues, many of them key government priorities, such as building active communities, promoting citizenship, regenerating neighbourhoods and addressing inequality. The links between intergenerational learning, research and policy are key to the development of intergenerational practice throughout Europe and to the integration of intergenerational learning into relevant policy areas.

Source: European Map of Intergenerational Learning

Intergenerational collaboration: The action of working with people of different age generations to produce something. It can be related with the creation and cooperation. Source: ISRCenter.

Intergenerational co-creation: The process of making, produce and or bringing into existence made by persons of different ages generations. It required for this process the intergeneration collaboration. Source: ISRCenter.

Intergenerational Training: The process of learning, between different generations, the necessary skills for do a particular job or activity. This process is a more specific action from the Intergenerational Learning (IL) concept developed by the European Map of Intergenerational Learning. Source: ISRCenter.


Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA): Political declaration signed by member states of the United Nations (UN) in 2002 showing their commitment to build a society for all ages. Source: United Nations.

Middlescence: The period in a person’s life between the ages of about 40 and 60), especially when this is considered a difficult period of change. Synonym middle age. Source: Cambridge Dictionary  

Midlife Crisis: feelings of unhappiness, worry, and disappointment that some people experience at about 40 years old and that can sometimes lead them to make important changes in their life. Source: Cambridge Dictionary

Mid-lifers: Group of persons that are facing the middlescence time. Are in the active stage of the adulthood. In the working life, are mainly in senior position and are the group that according to an Euromonitor report has the highest spending power among all age groups. Are considered the group Source: ISRCenter.

Multigenerational: relating to several generations. (Oxford dictionary). It is important to note that this term only refers to the composition of a group of individuals, and not to the interactions between them as the concept of intergenerational. According to Brownell and Resnick (2005), the terms intergenerational and multigenerational are being used interchangeably in some forums (e.g. UN documents and programs). Multigenerational is usually used in a related but far broader sense: it means to share activities or characteristics among generations, but not necessarily an interaction nor an influence among them (Villar 2008).


Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing – OEWG: A working group on ageing that was set up by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2010 to discuss how to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older persons worldwide, including in considering the possibility of new international legal instruments and measures such as a Convention for older people. More information: 


Silver Economy: is defined as the market that is being developed around the needs of an ageing population, with a focus on innovation. Source: 


User involvement: is the principle of involving the final beneficiaries of policies or research projects in the drafting and implementing process in order to make sure their real needs are taken into consideration. As for research projects, the role of AGE varies widely, but our objective in all of them is to voice older people’s perspectives, to effectively involve end-users at all stages, and to ensure the main ethical and legal issues are properly addressed.