The Active Ageing Index (AAI) and its Relation to the Quality of Life of Older Adults

  • Marcela Petrová Kafková

This work was supported by the Czech Scientific Agency under Grant number P404/13-34958F. Abstract

The goal of Active Ageing Index (AAI) is to improve the quality of life (QoL) of older adults; therefore, this chapter analyses the relation between activity and QoL, specifically on testing the connection between the AAI, its indicators and subjective well-being, both at a general level and at the level of individual EU countries. The results of correlation coefficients and PCA showed a significant correlation but also some problematic indicators. Employment has been identified as the exception among other dimensions having a significant position in the index, but the results cast doubts on its relationship with QoL. Putting significance on employment leads to overestimation of the position of countries which despite considerable employment rate are behind other countries in other indicators and leading to a number of unintended consequences.


  1. Active Ageing: A policy framework. (2002). Geneva: World Health Organisation.Google Scholar
  2. Active Ageing Index. (2015, September). (on-line). Presentation available on-line on project’s websites [cit. 29.12.2015]. Retrieved from
  3. Baumgarten, M., et al. (1992). The psychological and physical health of family members caring for an elderly person with dementia. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 45(1), 61–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biggs, S. (1993). Understanding ageing: Images, attitudes and professional practice. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Clarke, A., & Warren, L. (2007). Hopes, fears and expectations about the future: What do older people’s stories tell us about active ageing? Ageing and Society, 27(4), 465–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Diener, E., & Suh, E. (1997). Measuring quality of life: Economic, social, and subjective indicators. Social Indicators Research, 40(1–2), 189–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Erlinghagen, M., & Hank, K. (2006). The participation of older Europeans in volunteer work. Ageing and Society, 26(4), 567–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. EQLS. (2012). European Quality of Life Survey. Dublin: Eurofound.Google Scholar
  9. Galloway, M. T., & Jokl, P. (2000). Aging successfully: The importance of physical activity in maintaining health and function. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 8(1), 37–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gilleard, C., & Higgs, P. (2005). Contexts of ageing. Class, cohort and community. Cambridge: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hagerty, M. R., & Veenhoven, R. (2003). Wealth and happiness revisited—Growing national income does go with greater happiness. Social Indicators Research, 64(1), 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hasmanová Marhánková, J. (2013). Aktivita jako projekt. Diskurz aktivního stárnutí a jeho odezvy v životech českých seniorů a seniorek. Studie. Praha: Sociologické nakladatelství.Google Scholar
  13. Hasmanová Marhánková, J. (2014). Aktivní stárnutí jako idea, nástroj a kapitál. Kde hledat kořeny úspěchu koncepty aktivního stárnutí? Sociální studia, 11(3), 13–29.Google Scholar
  14. Holstein, M. B., & Minkler, M. (2003). Self, society, and the “new gerontology”. The Gerontologist, 43(6), 787–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Katz, S. (2000). Busy bodies: Activity, aging, and the management of everyday life. Journal of Aging Studies, 14(2), 135–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Katz, R. (2009). Intergenerational family relations and subjective well-being in old age: A cross-national study. European Journal of Ageing, 6(2), 79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Laslett, P. (1989). A fresh map of life: The emergence of the third age. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  18. Lassen, A. J. (2014). Billiards, rhytms, collectives. Billiards at a Danish Activity Centre as a culturally specific form of active ageing. Ethnologia Europaea. Journal of European Ethnology, 44(1), 57–74.Google Scholar
  19. Lassen, A. J., & Moreira, T. (2014). Unmaking old age: Political and cognitive formats of active ageing. Journal of Aging Studies, 30, 33–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lindenberger, U. (2009). Technologie ve stáří; šance z pohledu výzkumu chování. In P. Gruss (Ed.), Perspektivy stárnutí: z pohledu psychologie celoživotního vývoje (pp. 137–151). Praha: Portál.Google Scholar
  21. Manual on the measurement of volunteer work. Final approved pre-publication version. (2011). IWO [cit. 25.9.2011]. Retrieved from
  22. McMunn, A., Nazroo, J., Wahrendorf, M., Breeze, E., & Zaninotto, P. (2009). Participation in socially-productive activities, reciprocity and wellbeing in later life: Baseline results in England. Ageing and Society, 29(5), 765–782. Scholar
  23. Meyer, M. H. (2012). Grandmothers juggling work and grandchildren in the United States. In S. Arber & V. Timonen (Eds.), Contemporary grandparenting: Changing family relationships in global contexts (pp. 71–90). The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  24. Minkler, M., & Fuller-Thomson, E. (1999). The health of grandparents raising grandchildren: Results of a national study. American Journal of Public Health, 89(9), 1384–1389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moody, H. (2001). Productive aging and the ideology of old age. In N. Morrow-Howell, J. Hinterlong, & M. W. Sherraden (Eds.), Productive aging: Concepts and challenges (pp. 175–196). JHU Press.Google Scholar
  26. Morrow-Howell, N., Hinterlong, J., Rozario, P. A., & Tang, F. (2003). Effects of volunteering on the well-being of older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58(3), S137–S145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. OECD. Employment outlook 2006 boosting jobs and incomes: Boosting jobs and incomes. (2006). OECD.Google Scholar
  28. Park, H. H. (2006). The economic well-being of households headed by a grandmother as caregiver. Social Service Review, 80(2), 264–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Perek-Białas, J., Ruzik, A., & Vidovićová, L. (2006). Active ageing policies in the Czech Republic and Poland. International Social Science Journal, 58(190), 559–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Petrová Kafková, M. (2013). Šedivějící hodnoty? Aktivita jako dominantní způsob stárnutí. Brno: Munipress.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Petrová Kafková, M. (2015). Older people as care givers and their roles in family in the era of active ageing: Case of the Czech Republic. Studie Socjologiczne, 217(2), 49–73.Google Scholar
  32. Ranzijn, R. (2010). Active ageing—Another way to oppress marginalized and disadvantaged elders? Aboriginal elders as a case study. Journal of Health Psychology, 15(5), 716–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37(4), 433–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stathi, A., & Simey, P. (2007). Quality of life in the fourth age: Exercise experiences of nursing home residents. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 15(3), 272–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Veenhoven, R. (2001). Quality-of-life and happiness: Not quite the same [cit. 6.10.2016]. Retrieved from
  36. Vidovićová, L., Galčanová, L., & Petrová Kafková, M. (2015). Význam a obsah prarodičovské role u mladých českých seniorů a seniorek. Sociologický časopis/Czech Sociological Review, 51(5), 761–782.Google Scholar
  37. Vidovićová, L., & Petrová Kafková, M. (2016). Index aktivního stárnutí (AAI) v regionální aplikaci. Demografie: Revue pro výzkum populačního vývoje, 58(1), 49–66.Google Scholar
  38. Walker, A. (2002). A strategy for active ageing. International Social Security Review, 55(1), 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Walker, A. (2009). Commentary: The emergence and application of active aging in Europe. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 21(1), 75–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Walker, A., & Maltby, T. (2012). Active ageing: A strategic policy solution to demographic ageing in the European Union. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(3), S117–S130.Google Scholar
  41. Warburton, J., Terry, D. J., Rosenman, L. S., & Shapiro, M. (2001). Differences between older volunteers and nonvolunteers. Research on Aging, 23(5), 586–605. Scholar
  42. Wilson, J. (2000). Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 215–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zaidi, A., Gasior, K., Hofmarcher, M. M., Lelkes, O., Marin, B., Rodrigues, R., Schmidt, A., Vanhuysse, P., & Zolyomi, E. (2013). Active Ageing Index 2012. Concept, methodology and final results. Methodology report submitted to European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and to Population Unit, UNECE [cit. 6.3.2015]. Vienna: European Centre Vienna. [online]. Retrieved from
  44. Zaidi, A., & Stanton, D. (2015). Active Ageing Index 2014: Analytical report. Report produced at the Centre for Research on Ageing, University of Southampton, under contract with UNECE (Geneva), co-funded by European Commission, Brussels. Retrieved form

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcela Petrová Kafková
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations