Pro Senectute

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Pro Senectute is the largest and most important Swiss specialist and service organization for age issues. The foundation, founded in 1917, advocates the welfare, dignity and rights of older people.


Over 130 advice centers throughout Switzerland are the contact points for the population for all questions relating to the subject of "old age". They offer a wide range of services - from free social counseling to educational courses to exercise. Around 700,000 people of retirement age and their relatives use these offers. Pro Senectute has been certified with the ZEWO seal since 1942 and has a performance mandate from the federal government. It employs a total of around 19,600 people (employees, volunteers, volunteers).

The organization works with the public sector (municipalities, cantons, Federal Social Insurance Office) - but is organized under private law. In 2017, Pro Senectute generated around 48% of the funds (CHF 123.4 million) through its own services. 43% of the funds (111.1 million CHF) are provided by the public sector. 9% (22.4 million CHF) come from donations, legacies and fundraising.

The foundation has a federal structure. It has a national presence with a branch and specialist office and 22 cantonal and two intercantonal Pro Senectute organizations. The headquarters and the “Segretariato per la Svizzera italiana” are in Zurich, the “Secrétariat romand” in Vevey. The cantonal Pro Senectute organizations are legally independent foundations or associations.

The foundation is committed to solidarity and cohesion between the generations by creating opportunities for encounters with various projects (the reading promotion children's book prize “Prix Chronos”, the social project “Quartiers Solidaires”, the school project “Generations in the classroom”). For current topics, such as B. the reform of supplementary benefits, the age organization advocates the interests of financially disadvantaged senior citizens.


The “For the Age” / Pro Senectute Foundation was founded in Winterthur in 1917 . The decisive factor at the time was the oppressive old-age poverty . The founding members campaigned for elderly people in need and launched the idea of ​​statutory old-age insurance. This was then implemented 30 years later with the introduction of old-age and survivors' insurance (AHV). Thanks to the development of the social security system, the mental well-being of the elderly became more and more important from the 1950s onwards. The foundation established itself as a popular contact point for questions about seniors and old age.

In 2017 Pro Senectute celebrated its 100th birthday. At the start of the anniversary celebrations on April 1, 2017, former Federal Councilor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf took over the Presidency of the Board of Trustees of Pro Senectute Switzerland. She replaced Toni Frisch, who had been President of the Board of Trustees since 2011. The deed of foundation has been revised several times since it was founded. The current version came into force in [2015].

Service areas

  • Social counseling: free counseling for seniors and their relatives on all questions about life in old age, e.g. B. Finances, housing, legal questions or support and care of relatives.
  • Services: Relief service, meal service, administrative and trustee service, visiting service, equipment rental, driving service, cleaning service.
  • Courses: advanced training and sports courses for seniors, for example foreign languages, computers, Nordic walking or cross-country skiing.
  • Information: media work, development of gerontological expertise, organization of events for specialists and high-profile campaigns
  • Library: Largest public media and information center on the subject of old age in Switzerland. The library promotes the transfer between gerontological research and practice via its web platform with location-independent services as well as advice and events on site.
  • Pro Senectute publishes the magazine “Slow Motion” (circulation: 71,513 copies, readership: 140,000).
  • Prix ​​Chronos - Reading Promotion and Generation Book Prize: Reading competition and book prize for young and old. Since 2005, the foundation has honored German and French authors who address the relationship between generations in their books

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Kurt Seifert: Urged to act. In: PS-Info. News from Pro Senectute Schweiz 1, 2007, pp. 2–3. ( Available online )
  2. ^ Quartiers solidaires. In: Retrieved January 11, 2020 (French).
  3. Generations in the classroom - Canton of Zurich. In: Retrieved January 11, 2020 .
  4. ^ Theo Wehner, Stefan T. Güntert: Psychology of Voluntary Work: Motivation, Design and Organization , Springer, 2015, ISBN 978-3-642-55295-3 , p. 65 .