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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2006): Care of the elderly - overseas

Ageing and globalisation in the Scandinavian welfare model

T.M. Andersen

Ageing Horizons, issue 4, Spring-Summer 2006, p.6-11

This paper outlines the main characteristics of the social contract embedded in the Scandinavian welfare model and the problem of its financial viability in the face of increasing dependency ratios. It considers whether the model is sustainable in the context of population ageing, labour mobility and migration, and high levels of taxation of labour incomes.

Care needs and home help services for older people in Sweden: does improved functioning account for the reduction in public care?

K. Larsson

Ageing and Society, vol.26, 2006, p.413-430

Sweden aims to provide extensive state run community care services for its frail elderly population, but in recent years the proportion of older people who receive home help has decreased markedly. This paper analyses the extent to which this reduction in the proportion of older people who receive help is due to reduced need. Results show that over 15 years, even after taking needs factors into account, the likelihood of an older person receiving public home care had declined. Home help has clearly been targeted on the most needy individuals, and informal care has substituted for formal care.

Care revolutions in the making? A comparison of cash-for-care programmes in four European countries

V. Timonen, J. Convery and S. Cahill

Ageing and Society, vol. 26, 2006, p.455-474

State cash-for-care programmes offer cash payments or vouchers to older people, who can then use them to purchase the care they require. This article describes and evaluates cash-for-care programmes for older people in four countries: Home Care Grants in Ireland, Direct Payments in England, Service Vouchers in Finland and Personal Budgets in the Netherlands. Cash-for-care schemes have modest coverage in the Netherlands, England and Finland and have not radically altered the public care regime. However in Ireland the lack of alternative public formal care services means that the expansion of Home Care Grants may shift provision significantly towards the private sector.

Positive aging: a guide for mental health professionals and consumers

R. D. Hill

London: W. W. Norton, 2005

Age-related deteriorative processes yield predictable consequences including limitations, narrowing of horizons, disability, pain and suffering. The 21st century, however, is poised to teach us that old age can be much more than physical or cognitive decline. The longevity of persons in the developed world has been steadily increasing and people are able to make more contributions to their families and society in their later life. The book defines the term ‘positive aging’ and describes the challenges and opportunities that can be found in later life, and the role of individual choice in directing how one approaches growing old in this modern, life-extension era.

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