Health systems and long-term care for older people in Europe

Modelling the INTERfaces and LINKS between prevention, rehabilitation, quality of services and informal care



The rising demand for long-term care calls for policy approaches to long-term care allowing for holistic and inclusive views that integrate the role of different fields of public policies, in particular health and social care, various levels of administration, and the different types of provider organisations. At the same time, the crucial role of informal carers needs to be taken on board by policies that aim at developing and assuring the quality of long-term care. Moreover, there is growing evidence about discrimination of older people with long-term care needs regarding their access to mainstream health care and to prevention and rehabilitation, that need to be addressed by health and long-term care reforms.


The objective of this 3-year project was to construct and validate a concept and methodology to describe and analyse integrated long-term care (LTC) systems for older people from a European perspective. The particular aspects of the different emerging national models that currently address long-term care needs in Europe were used to show how the links to health care services, the quality of LTC services, the incentives for prevention and rehabilitation, and the support for informal carers can be governed and financed to enhance structures, processes and outcomes of LTC systems.


  • Literature review
  • Model development
  • Policy analysis
  • Case studies
  • Expert interviews
  • Stakeholder involvement



  • This project developed a general Framework for Long-term Care to describe and analyse long-term care and its links with the health system along six themes and more than 130 related key-issues to facilitate cross-national comparisons, to enable individual Member States to assess their developmental status and to identify future areas for innovation and improvement.
  • More than 90 examples of evidence-based good practice from 13 Member States were gathered to illustrate key-issues of the Framework that may guide future reforms in individual Member States.
  • Acknowledged and established examples of good practice focused particularly on assessing and monitoring quality of care, promoting prevention and rehabilitation and supporting informal carers as well as addressing respective governance and financing issues.
  • All outputs and detailed results can be retrieved and downloaded at the project website.