Which European model for elderly care? Equity and cost-effectiveness in home based care in three European countries
Long term care for the elderly is growing apace in developed economies. As growth is forcing change in existing production and delivery systems of elderly care services, the question arises as to how different systems compare in terms of cost-effectiveness, equity or quality. Based on an in depth survey carried out in Denmark, Ireland and Italy – the GALCA survey – this articles compares prevailing arrangements of home based long-term care in these three countries, focussing on the overall cost-effectiveness of the provisions as well as on employment equity for the care workers. Comparison between alternative types of provisions within each country suggests that home based care is generally, although not consistently, more cost-effective than care within institutions. Comparison of home care provisions across the three countries suggests that the Italian and the Danish systems are the most cost effective, but the Danish system is more equitable, overall. These latter findings are partly explained by progressive replacement in Italy of unpaid family carers with low cost immigrant workers directly employed by the families and often cohabiting with the elderly, the migrant-in-the-family model of long term care. This new model has spread across Southern Europe and raises complex issues of equity and sustainability from an employment perspective.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2009|
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