On 20th November 2014, AGE Platform Europe participated in a workshop organized as part of the Poverty Convention on ‘adequate social protection for long-term care needs’ which echoed with the launch of the joint report on long-term-care by the Social Protection Committee (SPC) and the European Commission (EC). The workshop gave an excellent opportunity to share practices and experiences on policies aiming to answer unpredictable long-term care needs while preventing Europeans from falling into poverty because of a high drop of income on the longer term.
Alvy Dercks represented AGE on that occasion, both to introduce AGE’s position on that subject and the situation in the Netherlands regarding the recent reform on long-term care.
The workshop gave an excellent opportunity to share practices and experiences on policies aiming to answer unpredictable long-term care needs while preventing from falling into poverty because of a sudden high drop of income. At a time when an increased number of persons have to choose between paying for their healthcare or their food, the debate insisted on addressing a new social risk for long-term care needs and investing on a new paradigm for health and social care systems. The recommendations included in the SPC-EC report on that subject are very relevant in that respect.
Three key messages arose from the workshop: long-term care represents a new emerging social risk which requires a public response at all stages of life as well as more direct accountabilities between the financing and quality of services; support to informal carers (through allowances, social health and pension insurances, training, advice, respite break, etc.) is crucial to sustain long-term care systems. Appropriate investment, the recognition of prevention (health promotion, social risks prevention and age-friendly environments), and rehabilitation play an essential part in addressing long-term care needs, expected to rise in the near future.