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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2010): Care of the elderly - overseas

Economics of an ageing world

21st Century Society, vol.5, 2010, p. 229-294

'Population ageing' is the redistribution of relative population shares away from the younger to the older age groups, leading to an increase in the average age of the population. According to the United Nations, there are only 18 countries where population ageing is not currently occurring. In this special issue, four papers deal specifically with some of the economic consequences of population ageing in both high- and low-income countries. They focus on how population ageing interacts with, and impinges upon, employment and the labour market.

International comparison of age discrimination laws

J.N. Lahey

Research on Aging, vol. 32, 2010, p. 679-697

European age discrimination legislation is discussed in the context of the US Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and related state laws. The ADEA has had both positive effects on currently employed older workers and negative effects on the hiring of older workers. Enforcement and publicity are offered as possible explanations for the strength of these positive and negative effects. Age discrimination legislation in Europe, indicated in the EU Framework Directive 2000/78, is driven by economic and political considerations. European legislation calls for less enforcement and more exemptions than the corresponding US cases, which could lead to smaller effects on employment. However, pensions, disability, unemployment and social security potentially have a stronger effect on social norms for retirement age than does anti-discrimination legislation.

Similar and yet so different: cash-for-care in six European countries' long-term care policies

B. Da Roit and B. Le Bihan

Milbank Quarterly, vol. 88, 2010, p. 286-309

Since the 1990s, cash-for-care schemes have been a common trend in social policies, particularly in the field of long-term care for older and disabled people. Instead of services, these schemes give people monetary benefits, which they can use to purchase care services. A close inspection of cash-for-care schemes in various European countries reveals some striking differences among them. This study used a detailed analysis of policy documents and regulations, together with a systematic review of existing research, to investigate the differences among six European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden).

Trust in medical decision-making concerning older people: the views of key professionals in the Dutch health care practice

J. Ubachs-Moust and others

Health, vol. 14, 2010, p. 564-584

This article focuses on whether doctors can be trusted when making decisions about the treatment of older people in the context of scarce healthcare resources, according to the views and opinions of various key professionals. It explores whether doctors can be trusted to respect the interests of older people when under increasing pressure from government and society to cut costs. Doctors need professional freedom to deal with the complex care required by older people. Both individual patients and society must be able to trust doctors to use this freedom correctly. Doctors must be able to choose the right intervention taking into account the situation of the individual patient and the expectations of society.

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