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2017: Standards for Residential Care Facilities

Background to the report

This comparative report has been produced as part of the 2017 Work Plan of Alzheimer Europe (AE)1, which has received funding from the European Union in the framework of the Health Programme.

The report looks at the topic of residential care facilities in Europe, and in particular, provides a comparative overview of the requirements that these facilities must comply with when providing care, i.e. the minimum provision below which no provider is expected to operate. In this report, the term residential care facilities includes both care homes and nursing homes (please see appendix for further details).

The report focuses on the following areas:

  1. Physical environment,
  2. Workforce,
  3. Provision of care and rights,
  4. Palliative care,
  5. Abuse and restraint.

The information for this comparative report has been provided by AE members and other national experts (please see appendix for details on the methodology followed and the acknowledgements section for the list of people who have contributed to the report). Members of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD)2 were invited to share their experiences with and views on each of the topics addressed in the report by providing a short written testimonial (“personal accounts”). The personal accounts of six people with dementia and three supporters are included in this report.

The report includes information from 29 European countries (please see table 1 for more information). For Belgium and the United Kingdom (UK) separate information is provided for the different parts of the countries (i.e. Wallonia and Flanders in Belgium, and England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland for the UK). For some countries where the requirements are developed at regional level the information is provided for one of the regions (e.g. Germany, Spain, Switzerland) (please see appendix for further details).


[1] Alzheimer Europe is a non-governmental organisation aiming to raise awareness of all forms of dementia. As of October 2017, Alzheimer Europe has 40 member associations from 35 countries. For further information please visit:

[2] In 2012, Alzheimer Europe set up the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD), comprised of people with different forms of dementia and of different ages and nationalities, to advise the board of Alzheimer Europe (through the Chair of the EWGPWD) and to participate (either as a group or through individual members) in all activities and projects organised by Alzheimer Europe.

Table 1: Participating countries


EU Member States


Non-EU Countries






  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey








Last Updated: Friday 31 January 2020


  • Acknowledgements

    This Dementia in Europe Yearbook received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of the Yearbook represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.
  • European Union