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

Assessing mobility in an ageing society: personal and built environment factors associated with older people’s subjective transportation deficiency in the US

S. Kim

Transportation Research. Part F, vol. 14, 2011, p. 422-429

This study demonstrates that a significant proportion of the older population of the US may restrict their activities due to transportation deficiency. About 36.6% of survey respondents who were 65 or over had some level of transportation deficiency and about 8.5% reporting encountering the problem frequently. The results suggest that satisfying older people’s transport needs is an important policy goal for an ageing society. The article concludes with policy recommendations:

  • helping older Americans to continue to drive as long as possible
  • understanding and attending to the special needs of minority groups
  • developing service clusters within walking distance for older people living in suburbs

China’s ‘socializing social welfare’ policy: a study on service quality in society-run homes for the aged in Beijing

H. Ding

China Journal of Social Work, vol. 4, 2011, p. 137-151

In the light of growing numbers of frail elderly people in China, the Ministry of Civic Affairs introduced the ‘Socializing Social Welfare’ policy which aimed to shift responsibility for service provision from the government to ‘society’, mobilising individuals, social groups, collectives and enterprises to share the task, especially with regard to residential care. This study employed mixed methods to examine service quality in the emergent society run care homes for older people in Beijing from the perspective of the residents. Results showed that service quality in society run care homes is barely satisfactory, and the article concludes with recommendations for improvement through employment of more professionally qualified staff, establishment of a professional association, encouraging residents and their families to provide feedback on service quality, etc.

Exploring the impact of Japanese Long-Term Care Insurance Act on the gendered stratification of the care labour market through an analysis of the domiciliary care provided by welfare non-profit organisations

J. Yamashita

Social Policy and Society, vol. 10, 2011, p. 433-443

The aim of this article is to examine the restructuring of care services for older people as they have come to be commodified and regulated by the welfare state. It focuses on how domiciliary care services for older people in Japan have been restructured following the implementation of the Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) Act in 2000. It shows specifically how gender influences this process by analysing how welfare non-profit organisations have responded to the reform. It is concluded that the LTCI Act reinforced the gendered structural division of care work in which welfare non-profit organisations are still predominantly run by middle aged women, positively responding to the high demand for home care services, which are placed at the bottom of a hierarchy of care work by the LTCI scheme.

How family carers view hospital discharge planning for the older person with a dementia

M. Bauer and others

Dementia, vol. 10, 2011, p. 317-323

In the case of people with dementia, the discharge practices of hospitals have become critical for preparing family carers to receive their relative back into the community, or to assist in the transition to long term care. This research explores family carers’ perceptions of hospital discharge planning and preparation, based on interviews with 25 people living in Victoria, Australia. An analysis of the data indicates that the needs of family carers who participated in the study were frequently not being met in the discharge process and that discharge planning and execution were in need of improvement.

More family responsibility, more informal care? The effect of motivation on the giving of informal care by people aged over 50 in the Netherlands compared to other European countries

D. Oudijk, I. Woittiez and A. de Boer

Health Policy, vol.101, 2011, p. 228-235

Against the background of population ageing, informal care giving and productive ageing have become important topics for policymakers. This article examines the role played by motives in informal care giving, using data drawn from SHARE. Results show that in the Netherlands it is mainly feelings of obligation and being needed that increase the chance of informal care being given. In Southern Europe, where responsibility for care lies with the family, older carers, contrary to expectations, do not feel a greater obligation to help or see being active as a way of contributing to society. They less often report feeling needed. It is concluded that a greater policy emphasis on family responsibility could lead to a decline in the amount of care given.

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