The paper departs from considering the role of measuring the health situation of elderly people in relation to shaping the health policy as a part of the social policy. Then the paper raises practical questions concerning population ageing. The results of two research studies dealing with this issue are evolved. The first one was carried out in 13 European countries by the Reader's Digest, whereas the second one - DIALOG Population Policy Acceptance Study was conducted in 14 European countries. Furthermore, the problems of health of the elderly are presented on the basis of selected documents of the World Health Organization and the European Union. Then the authors delve into the issue of health-related quality of life of the elderly, with the use of new measures of the burden of disease. The last part of the paper sketches the process of population ageing in Europe and in Poland. Several references are made to documents establishing the health policy.
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