Helping the elderly participate in society more - preventing and fighting loneliness and social isolation in old age

The ESF federal model programme "Stärkung der Teilhabe Älterer – Wege aus der Einsamkeit und sozialen Isolation im Alter" was the first ESF programme of its kind, aiming to prevent or combat loneliness and social isolation in old age and to increase financial security in that phase of life.

The objectives of the programme were:

  • Improving the incomes and living situations of older employees (over 60 years of age), both during active employment and in the post-work phase. To accomplish this, there were counselling sessions on the possibilities of claiming benefits for basic income support in old age and support for getting started with a further period of employment in the post-work phase.
  • Helping those over sixty participate in society more: Development of sustainable professional structures for social work with lonely and/or socially isolated older people. This included the targeted expansion of open work with senior citizens including low thresholds for support for education, counselling, communication and leisure. Central to this programme were strengthening of regional networking and expanding voluntary work.

The programme was aimed primarily at older workers who are at risk of or affected by exclusion from the labour market and, as a consequence, social isolation.

Profile of the programme

Target group
  • Municipalities
  • Employees

Employees over 60 years of age who are at risk of exclusion from the labour market and people over 60 years of age including their life partners

Implementation period

2020.10.01 - 2022.09.30

  • Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Funding priority

B: Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination

Additional Information


Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend

Referat 311

Glinkastrasse  24
10117 Berlin