LATEST FINDINGS

Working conditions of the long-term care workforce in Austria

The results of the NORDCARE survey show manifold insights into the working situation of the long-term care workforce in Austria. Overall, long-term care workers, particularly in the residential care sector, have experienced a deterioration of working conditions over the last years. On the one hand this can be related to the increasing demands and needs of people in need of care, on the other hand time limitations and staff shortages add to such experiences. Long-term care workers are therefore confronted with numerous burdens and demands at the workplace. While the application of individual coping strategies partly helps to deal with such burdens, high levels of psychological and physical constraints nevertheless result in a subjectively perceived bad health status. Despite organizational characteristics it is thus the health status that significantly impacts on the future considerations of the workforce to continue working in the sector. In order to secure sustainable human resources for the long-term care sector, prevention and health promotion measures as well as developments in work organization such as autonomous and person-centered forms of work are key factors in improving working conditions. More...

More findings

Old age carers (80+) more likely to be men in European countries

Share of young people not in education, employment or training

Source: WHO/Europe (2018) The health and well-being of men in the WHO European Region: better health through a gender approach, based on data from SHARE (wave 6)

Caregiving has traditionally been associated with feminine values, but recent data point to a gender role inversion in later life. It is well established that men are less likely to engage in unpaid work and provide filial care or care to older family members during adulthood, when a large proportion of men are engaged in remunerated work activities. Even once they reach older age, a lower proportion of men, with respect to women engage in care provision in virtually all European countries. However, while the proportion of men carers decreases with age in later life, it does so slower than is the case for women, leading to a situation where a greater share of men in the oldest age groups act as informal carers than women. Informal care provided by older men is generally concentrated on care for their spouses and takes place within the household. The higher prevalence of carers among older men is closely linked with differences in living arrangements, which are in turn closely related and sensitive to changes in, the health, marital and socioeconomic status of the older population. More...

Decentralization of social services has been a continuing challenge for Kosovan municipalities

Source: Own illustration based on the latest Census data (2011) and interviews with municipal staff conducted in 2017

A specific budget line for social services from the Ministry to the municipal government does not exist yet, which has led to inadequate staffing, facilities and service provision. Other sources of income from private or nongovernmental donors have been fluctuating. The formerly centrally governed Centres of Social Work have not been fully incorporated into the municipal structures.

Inadequate funding is further aggravated by its uneven distribution across municipalities. As shown in the graph, the ratio between social services staff and the population is markedly different among municipalities of similar size. While larger municipalities tend to employ fewer social services staff per population, some larger municipalities such as Ferizaj/Uroševac not only manage a better ratio, but also cooperate with NGOs in providing social services.

For 2019, a specific budget line for social services is planned. Detailed account of decentralizing social services delivery in Kosovo can be found in the original Situation analysis prepared by the European Centre and Save the Children Kosovo and a policy brief by Rahel Kahlert and Sonila Danaj. More...

 

Housing remains costly and unaffordable for many European households

Source: Own illustration based on data from European Central Bank Statistics, OECD National Accounts Statistics and Eurostat Database, EU-SILC.

Housing affordability has become a central issue in recent years as some population groups find themselves priced out of the housing market in some European countries or cities. Although the financial crisis depressed housing prices, these have in the meantime recovered in most countries. Disposable income however, particularly among lower income households, has yet to increase significantly, with housing costs representing nowadays a significant financial burden on low income families. The share of households "overburdened" by housing costs (i.e. the latter represent more than 40% of disposable income) ranges from between 33%-34% in Hungary and Italy, to 42-43% in the UK and the Netherlands. Countries have implemented housing allowances to alleviate this problem, and although these allowances overwhelming target the poor, their poverty reducing impact is somewhat limited. Detailed account of why this is the case, further results and policy implications can be found in the original research note and in a policy brief by Eszter Zólyomi and Katarina Hollan.

Long-term care in Europe: Socio-economic inequity in utilization of formal and informal care services

The use of both formal (home-based care services) and informal care across Europe is unequally distributed among income groups, with poorer individuals using significantly more long-term care. In the case of home-based care, differences in utilization basically reflect differences in needs: less affluent older people have, on average, poorer health. Only in Denmark and Estonia (both pro-poor) and Italy and Spain (both pro-rich) is the distribution of home care use inequitably distributed across income groups. For informal care, however, there is strong evidence (9 out of the 15 countries considered) that poorer older people disproportionately use this type of care even after accounting for different needs. This may suggest financial barriers in accessing home care services. Detailed results and a discussion of policy implications can be found in the original research articles by Ricardo Rodrigues and Stefania Ilinca (and Andrea E. Schmidt) in EuroHealth, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and Health Economics.

A framework for a human rights-based approach to care & support for older people

The framework outlines what the fulfilment of universal human rights necessitates when applied to the case of older people with care and support needs and is organised according to three key domains:

  1. Desired outcomes: fulfilment of rights;
  2. Enabling processes: monitoring and enforcement; and
  3. Structural conditions: legal recognition.

These correspond with three areas across which the implementation of fundamental rights can be measured: results (outcome indicators); effort (process indicators); and commitment (structural indicators). The framework was developed as part of the ongoing project, 'From disability rights towards a rights-based approach to long-term care in Europe: Building an index of rights-based policies for older people'. More...

A framework for a human rights-based approach to care & support for older people

Five tension points in dementia community care

Our framework attempts to capture the complexities and interdependencies inherent to the organization of community-based dementia care along the disease trajectory, recognizing the roles played by the various actors involved. Furthermore, we include the socio-cultural, economic, and legal and governance context of community care for people with dementia in our framework.

5 Tension Points in Dementia Community Care

While we do not develop each of these dimensions in depth, we emphasize instead how each interacts with and affects the organization and quality of community-based care by linking them with 5 core tensions, or ‘Tension Points’ within the system. More...