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

Active ageing, active learning: policy and provision in Hong Kong

M. Tam

Studies in Continuing Education, vol.33, 2011, p. 289-299

Participation in continued learning in old age contributes to good health, satisfaction with life, independence and self-esteem. The Hong Kong government has implemented policies and programmes to encourage continued learning among the elderly to help improve their health and quality of life. This paper aims to examine the role of government, providers and community agencies in developing policy and provision for elder learning in Hong Kong; to discuss the approach to elder learning in Hong Kong before and after 1997, which is marked by the establishment of the Hong Kong Elder Commission; to investigate new directions in elder learning policy and provision; and to identify needs for future research and policy development.

Informal family carers and lack of personal time: descriptions of being outside the sphere of formal help

A. Leinonen

Nordic Social Work Research, vol.1, 2011, p. 91-108

This study explored the experiences of 21 adult children in Finland who juggled care for elderly parents and paid work. Respondents fell into two groups. One group complained that lack of access to formal services provided by the municipality forced them to provide home care for their aged parents. They felt constant anxiety about their parents' wellbeing, and needed more time to spend with their own children, spouses and hobbies. The second group comprised children whose parents refused to accept formal help. This group was also concerned about their inability to plan the use of their own personal time. It is concluded that policies which focus on improving access to services to help adult children combine work and care will not solve the problems faced by carers whose parents refuse to accept formal services.

Qualifications of non-nursing residential care staff in the Republic of Ireland

M. Power and M.J. Lavelle

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 12, 2011, p. 152-161

In response to population ageing and rising demand for care, Ireland launched a set of national standards for residential care in 2009. Conducted just before the introduction of the standards, this study examines qualifications held or being pursued by non-nursing care staff in long-stay settings for older people in Ireland. It provides a timely snap-shot of levels of qualifications among staff in this sector, and offers a basis for comparison with care workforces in other nations. Findings suggest that the elderly care workforce in Ireland is largely ill-prepared to meet the challenge of professionaisation, a situation aggravated by the current economic crisis confronting the country.

Service use barriers differentiating care-givers' service use patterns

S.-I. Hong, L. Hasche and M.J. Lee

Ageing and Society, vol.31, 2011, p.1307-1329

Governments in the USA and other industrialised nations are increasingly offering a wide range of supportive services for informal caregivers of frail older adults, including services to help them directly and services to support them indirectly by helping their care recipients. Yet, the negative consequences of caregiving and the costs of institutional long term care remain pressing concerns, and in the US utilisation of caregiver support services is low. This study analysed the 2004 National Long-Term Care Survey and Informal Care-giver Dataset to identify the prevalence of service barriers for each type of service as well as for overall service use. Service barriers were measured in terms of availability, awareness, affordability, staff quality, privacy violation, complex bureaucracy, language barriers, qualification for each programme, and no thought of service. Andersen's health behaviour model guided determinants related to caregiver service use patterns. Of the ten service use barriers defined, awareness and no thought of service were the most prevalent.

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