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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2005): Care of the Elderly - Overseas

Ageing in the risk society

J.L. Powell and A. Wahidin

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.25, no.8 2005, p.70-83

Social insurance systems have failed to predict or address increased longevity and the trend towards smaller families and are now breaking up. Those who can afford it are now taking out private insurance against the risks of illness, unemployment and death. At the same time, neo-liberal states have redefined older people as autonomous consumers of care exercising choice in a marketplace managed by administrative powers. Helping professionals have been transformed from caregivers into managers of budgets, audits and accounting systems. However, many older people are left neglected and socially isolated in their role as self-responsible consumers.

Aging, health care and elder care: perpetuation of gender inequalities in China

H. J. Zhan

Health Care for Women International, vol. 26, 2005, p.693-712

Based on interviews conducted from 1997 to 1999 with 110 family care givers who were looking after their physically dependent parents, this study explores various aspects of gender differences in both care givers and care recipients. Findings suggest that elderly female care recipients were more likely to receive no pension or medical benefits than their male counterparts; and female care givers were likely to earn less than males when employed. Female care givers were performing more hours of care tasks per week and were more involved in personal care and housework even though they perceived their health to be poorer than that of their male counterparts. Male care givers were more likely to provide financial assistance to parents. As future family size is reduced due to China's one child policy, current female care givers are not going to have several adult children to look after them when they get older. They are also likely to suffer from greater loss of income, retirement benefits and health benefits due to their greater current involvement with elder care.

Cost-benefit analysis in social care for elderly people

J.M. Dutrénit

Evaluation Review, vol.29, 2005, p.389-406

A short term national programme to boost youth employment in France called Dispositif Emploi Jeunes (DEJ) was in place during 2002 and 2003. For the duration of the programme the state paid the salaries of young people employed for the first time. This article describes a cost benefit analysis of the impact of DEJ workers providing home care for elderly people in Lille. Results showed that elderly people supported by a DEJ worker spent significantly less on medicines than the control group and that the savings produced by a DEJ worker organising cultural activities for clients covered his/her salary.

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