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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2011): Care of the elderly - overseas

Ageing, health, and productivity: the economics of increased life expectancy

P. Garibaldi and others (editors)

Oxford: OUP, 2010

Successfully managing ageing and longevity over the next twenty years is one of the major structural challenges faced by policy makers in advanced economies, particularly as regards health spending, social security administration, and labour market institutions. This book looks closely into those challenges and identifies the fundamental issues at both the macroeconomic and microeconomic level. The first half of the book studies the macroeconomic relationships between health spending, technological progress in medical related sectors, economic growth, and welfare state reforms. In the popular press, longevity and population ageing are typically perceived as a tremendous burden. However, with a proper set of reforms, advanced economies have the option of transforming the enormous challenge posed by longevity into a long term opportunity to boost aggregate outcomes. The basic prerequisite of a healthy ageing scenario is a substantial structural reform in social security and in labour market institutions. The second part of the book looks closely into the microeconomic relationship between population ageing and productivity, both at the individual and at the firm level.

Managing older people's money: assisted and substitute decision-making in residential aged-care

C. Tilse and others

Ageing and Society, vol. 31, 2011, p. 93-109

In many jurisdictions, current policy and legislation recognise that capacity to make decisions differs according to the nature and extent of the impairment, the type of decision to be made and the available support. Legislation seeks to achieve a balance between protection and empowerment based on a presumption of capacity and an obligation to provide support to help cognitively impaired adults make or communicate their own decisions. The implication is that older people are assisted to make decisions where possible, rather than using substitute decision makers. This paper reports an Australian study of the factors that facilitate or constrain residents' involvement in financial decision making in care homes for older people. Case studies of four residential homes explored how staff interpreted the legislative and policy requirements for assisted and substitute decision making, and the factors that facilitated or constrained residents' inclusion in decisions about their finances.

Social work in the development of institutional care for older people in Slovenia

J. Mali

European Journal of Social Work, vol. 13, 2010, p. 545-559

Care for older people in Slovenia is institutionally oriented. In recent years there has been a shift in the orientation of residential homes from a medical to a social model of elder care. Socially-oriented homes use a different model of social work practice to that found in medically-oriented homes. The difference lies in social work methods as well as in the roles of the social worker in interactions with residents, relatives and staff. By defining a model of what social work in a socially-oriented home should look like, a new specialism of social work with older people in institutional care has been developed.

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