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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2006): Care of the Elderly - Overseas

R. Yamato

Current Sociology, vol.54, 2006, p.273-291

This study argues that Japanese people’s attitudes towards dependence of older people on their children have changed and that more and more people are seeing it as less desirable although the country has a cultural tradition of familism and filial piety. In addition attitudinal changes towards financial dependence took place earlier than changes in attitudes towards personal care. Attitudes towards financial dependence were drastically transformed by the early 1980s, while attitudes towards dependence for personal care began to change only in the late 1980s. It is also argued that the increasing availability of state pensions and public care services promoted and facilitated these attitudinal changes.

E. O’Shea

Health Policy, vol.76, 2006, p.93-105

Ireland has had a formal healthy ageing policy since 1998. However, the policy was developed from the top down without significant input from older people or groups directly involved with healthy ageing activity. In fact, it was developed in an information vacuum because at the time nothing was known about the extent of healthy ageing activity in the country. This study examines the impact of the strategy on stakeholders in three key areas: funding, priority-setting and best practice. Results suggest that funding needs to be increased for the sector and that genuine partnerships between older people and policy-makers need to be established.

E. O’Shea

Ageing and Society, vol.26, 2006, p.267-284

This article examines the costs, volunteer impacts and caller impacts of the Senior Help Line in Ireland. The service was first piloted in 1998 as a means of providing a telephone listening service for older people who are lonely and isolated. It is staffed by volunteer older people. The study used personal interviews, focus groups and postal questionnaires to elicit information about the service and its impact on volunteers and callers. The Help Line has made a significant contribution to the health and well-being of older people in Ireland at the relatively low cost of 31-39 euros per call. The service demonstrates the positive effects of volunteering for older people and the value and effectiveness of peer-to-peer communication for vulnerable callers.

A. Comas-Herrera and others

Ageing and Society, vol.26, 2006, p.285-302

This article reports findings from the European Study of Long-Term Care Expenditure which was partly funded by the European Commission. This investigated the factors which are likely to affect future expenditure on long-term care services in Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK. The paper describes the long term care systems of the four countries and the models used in the study and sets out projections for future expenditure produced under a set of common assumptions. It then investigates the sensitivity of those projections to variant assumptions about future trends in life expectancy, trends in functional dependency, trends in the availability of informal care and trends in unit-costs of services. The project also investigated the sensitivity of the projections to other factors such as the structure of long-term care services and patterns of provision.

L. Wong and Tang Jun

Journal of Social Policy, vol.35, 2006, p.229-246

The phenomenal growth of social organisations in China has been a notable feature of its transitional society after the adoption of market reforms and political liberalisation. This article examines non-state care homes for older people as one class of emergent social organisation in urban China, exploring their background, form and functions in the provision of welfare services for a rapidly growing elderly population.

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