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Setting the Scene: Long term care challenges and the role of ICT and migrants Long term care challenges in an ageing society: the role of ICT and migrants.

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Presentation on theme: "Setting the Scene: Long term care challenges and the role of ICT and migrants Long term care challenges in an ageing society: the role of ICT and migrants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting the Scene: Long term care challenges and the role of ICT and migrants Long term care challenges in an ageing society: the role of ICT and migrants Brussels, 19 th of January 2010 Ricardo Rodrigues

2 Setting the scene for the discussion Challenges facing long-term care in Europe Could migrants be part of the answer? The role of ICT Drawing on: “Who cares” discussion paper Publication “Facts and Figures on Long-term Care” Other relevant literature

3 Long-term care (LTC): a latecomer in social policy A “new” social risk: only recently integrated in social protection; At the boundaries between health and social care; No other area of social policy in which countries differ more (Who cares). Health Care System differentiated, professionalised, hierarchical, funded, rights-based Social Care System local, less professionalised, badly funded, discretional Hospital General Practitio ner Nursi ng Home Care Short term Care Home Help Other Services, Housing, etc. Residential Care Day Care

4 A changing world will bring changing LTC needs Health situation of older people – crucial for care needs Alzheimer and other dementia: 1.Uncertainty about future health trends; 2.Special training in recognising and dealing with dementia; 3.Shifting care needs: less sophisticated care, need of 24h presence, care at home. Source: Own calculations based on Alzheimer Europe (2006) Prevalence of Dementia in Europe (2005)

5 Home is where you’re cared for Institutional care confined to a minority Source: ECFIN (2009), European Centre 2009 Home care is key for more people accessing care Beneficiaries of institutional and home care in EU Member States (latest available year)

6 A changing world will bring changing availability of care Demography may impact care needs (depends on health)… but will surely impact availability of care 1.Labour shortages (formal care) Competition with health sector (higher paid, better social status) Low salaries; Increasingly demanding jobs; Constraints on wages: Baumol “cost disease”; Reorganisation of skills and tasks; 2.Availability of informal care Source: Eurostat “Support ratio”: number of women aged for each 80 year-old

7 Informal care: The “workhorse” of LTC Current portrait of informal carers in Europe: Women Late 40s till early 60s Not employed (country diversity) Family members: Daughters; Spouses Public support for informal care Cash for care benefits: care allowances and attendance allowances; Linked with a consumerist (choice) rhetoric. Targeted by EU Employment Policies Decreasing fertility rates: Less siblings sharing the “burden of care” Changing living arrangements

8 Migrant carers: a solution to gaps and shortages? Labour shortages in the care sector, pressure on informal care; Demand for care: e.g. 24h care; Budgetary constraints: state and household level; Favourable policy settings: unregulated cash benefits. Targeting immigration of skilled labour for health and LTC sector: “Legal” carers” (e.g. nurses employed by health sector) Migrant carers Allowing /incentivising “grey markets of care”, particularly in home care: Undocumented carers hired by private households

9 Migrant carers Vienna and Bratislava: tale of 2 cities Austrian LTC context Unregulated LTC allowance; Limits on subsidised care; Financial constraints: real decrease of benefit value; Lack of social services, especially 24h assistants. Supply-side: Cultural and geographic proximity; Wage differentials: average wage of €596 (OECD) against Austrian LTC allowance between € and € ; Labour market situation: higher unemployment rates in SK. Demand Supply Grey market of care based on migrant carers

10 Dilemmas surrounding migrant carers Financially convenient: key to the sustainability of systems (policy- makers); source of income (migrants); value for money (patients); Tailored to needs, hard to get in the care market (e.g. 24h care); “Ageing in place” as an alternative to institutional care; But on the other hand… Ethical issues: exploitation, lack of social protection; two-tier labour market through imperfect formalisation (Austrian Home Assistance Act); Beggar-thy-neighbour policies? Care gaps in sending countries and “brain drain” (qualified migration); Integration with formal care; Quality of care both for carer and person in need of care; Integration of migrants in receiving societies.

11 The (potential) role of ICT in LTC The ICT in real world economy: Efficiency/productivity gains; Wide use found on service sector. The (potential for) ICT in LTC: Improved coordination between health and social care (e.g. information sharing through electronic health records); Patient focus; Enhance independent living; Improve quality of care: embedded in care practices, quality management, increased transparency; Training and empowerment of carers (e.g. improving the social integration of migrant carers).

12 Why has ICT use in LTC fallen short of its potential? The real use of ICT in LTC: Information for carers and patients… Limited services (e.g. telecare, alarm services)… Pilot programmes or initiatives (e.g. transparency in quality)… Overall limited role. Organisational constraints – are innovations spreading in the care sector? ICT literacy of users, both carers and those in need of care; Cost barriers and lack of evidence-based results; Ethical concerns. Why?

13 Some conclusions for further debate On migrant carers: 1.Migrant carers are key to the fiscal sustainability of many LTC systems, even if based on unsustainable arrangements. 2.Undocumented carers follow opportunities, but are also a conscious if not always recognised policy option. 3.Not a “silver bullet”, but it’s unwise to ignore their potential or otherwise take half-hearted measures to integrate them. On ICT use in long-term care: 1.ICT use and impact falls short of its potential in LTC systems. 2.Little evidence-based knowledge of its impact is available. 3.Which strategies are best suited to enhance ICT use in LTC?


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