This book is about caring for older people in the 21st century. It shows the many facets of care and the diverse factors that influence the relation between the person depending on care and the care giver(s), the impacts of caregiving on the family and the larger social context, as well as socio-cultural and political aspects underlying the growing need for and the practice of formal and informal care. A multi-disciplinary cast of internationally renowned authors provides a first substantive integration of knowledge from geropsychology, other areas of ageing research, and cultural psychology. The book provides researchers and practitioners with new insights on problems of advancing age and caring tasks in globalised societies. By doing so it promotes a strong plea for solidarity between generations in family and society in a rapidly changing world.
Kai Leichsenring and Henk Nies (Vilans, The Netherlands) contributed the chapter 'Concepts and strategies of quality assurance in care for older people'. In the light of changing paradigms of health with concomitantly changing concepts of the welfare state the first part of this chapter draws a picture of how care quality can or should be conceived to appropriately address the idiosyncrasies of long-term care for older people. The second part outlines strategies that have been implemented to ensure quality of care, taking into account the different perspectives of professional care workers (‘quality by professional ethics’), but also those of informal carers and older people who are in need of care (‘quality by voice, exit and choice’). The resulting tensions in current and future care quality are discussed, including some strategies that show, how policies (‘quality by market-oriented regulation and inspection’) and provider organisations (‘quality by management’) try to face the challenges to define, assess, secure and improve quality. The chapter concludes with a brief outline of future perspectives on quality in long-term care focusing on quality of life and continuous improvement in empowering and ‘learning’ organisations.