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.