15% of the general population in the EU has a mild to severe disability (around 80 million citizens) (*1)
The incidence of disability increases as the population ages :
37% of persons aged 65 to 74
60% of persons aged +75
About 16% of the population is +65 (this percentage is rising)
Public spending on long-term care is projected to increase by 1¼% of GDP by 2060 (*2).
The EC R&D Programmes support the usage of ICT for improving the quality of life of the elderly and their autonomy while reducing the costs of health and social care (*3)
(* 1) European Commission (2010) European Disability Strategy 2010-2020: A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe. (*2) Commission of the European Communities (2009): Dealing with the impact of an ageing population in the EU, COM(2009) final, Brussels, April 29. (*3) Commission of the European Communities (2007): Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council on the participation by the Community in a research and development programme.COM(2007) final, Brussels, June 14