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Changing demographics in the western society require the provision of resources to enable independent living for the aging population. This includes guiding research and development into technologies and interventions that would assist the elderly to live safely and independently in their own homes. It is also essential that policy regarding privacy and security is addressed, both on a regional, national and international scale. This paper will provide an introduction to the European Commission's CAPSIL project, aimed at studying the requirements for enabling independent living, with an emphasis on the role of Body Sensor Networks (BSN). The objective of the project will be described including a description of the CAPSIL Wiki, an online tool for the dissemination of the project findings, how BSNs can be used to support independent living of the elderly, key design aspect of BSN systems for the elderly and the current gaps and challenges that will need to be addressed.