Long-term care

Authored by: Bent Greve

Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138631649
eBook ISBN: 9781315207049
Adobe ISBN:


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Long-term care is a relative newcomer to social policy in most welfare states. Historically, this has been a task for families or has been done within the healthcare system. In the first edition of this handbook (Greve, 2013), long-term care could not even be found in the index. Long-term care is seen as a new social risk (see Taylor-Gooby, 2004) that welfare states have to address in the wake of the fact that people, or at least some people, are living for longer. Welfare states have therefore gradually taken on a higher responsibility for the elderly in need of support. However, despite acknowledging the impact upon family life if one is obliged to take care of a frail elderly person, long-term care is not even mentioned in the index in Taylor-Gooby (2004). The change in welfare mix thus also prevails in the field of long-term care, especially with a possible growing burden on women in order to care for a spouse and/or parents. This is not a new understanding however; see Norton (2000), who has already pointed to this possible impact.

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