On the 19th and 20th of January the Joint Action ADVANTAGE initiative “Managing Frailty. A comprehensive approach to promote a disability-free advanced age” will celebrate its kick-off meeting.

This Joint Action on the Prevention of Frailty is co-funded by the Third European Health Programme of the European Union 2014-2020. ADVANTAGE has a budget of 3.5 million euros and will run for 3 years from January 2017. It involves, 22 Member States and over 40 organizations. Spain, in practice the Madrid Health Service-Getafe Hospital (a Reference site of the EIP – AHA), with the support of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, coordinates this initiative.

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ADVANTAGE will develop the concept of the ‘Prevention of Frailty Approach’ in health and social care services by encouraging consensus to build a common understanding on frailty to be used by Member States on which to base a common management approach of older people who are frail or at risk for developing frailty in the European Union.

It will summarise the current State of the Art for the different components of frailty and its management, both at individual and population level, will collect information on the development of programs to manage frailty in older adults in the EU and will propose, as its main outcome, a common European model to approach frailty, leading to the development of improved strategies for diagnosis, care and education for frailty, disability and multi-morbidity.

ADVANTAGE will contribute to the reduction of disability and dependence and will prevent the growing healthcare demands from the increasing burden of chronic diseases.  It will contribute to a more effective response to the needs of older people in care delivery including gender sensitive aspects, through better care planning and coordination, innovative organisational approaches and better collaboration between professional and informal care, including support for self-management.

The work that will start with the kick-off meeting of ADVANTAGE is particularly relevant in Europe at this current time as it will address the demographic change and the associated increasing demands for social and health care from the burden of chronic diseases, frailty, disability and old age, which are a central priority for the EU and its Member States.

It will build on previous work developed by the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA) mainly by continuing the work, deliverables and good practices set by the A3 Action Group on frailty prevention and the Reference Sites and launched by the European Commission in 2012 as a response to demographic changes in the EU.