Recipients of home care and the role of informal care in Europe.

Document type: Conference Presentations
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): N Genet, M Naiditch, W Boerma, A Hutchinson, V Garms-Homolova, G Lamura, S Chablicz, K Ersek, L Gulacsi, Cecilia Fagerström
Title: Recipients of home care and the role of informal care in Europe.
Series: Journal of Clinical Nursing
Conference name: 4th nursing congress
Year: 2010
Volume: 19
Issue: Suppl. 1
Pagination: 48
ISSN: 0962-1067
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: In many cases home care is no viable option without the efforts of clients and informal carers. So, an understanding of home care systems would not be complete without taking into account the role of clients and informal carers. As resources and criteria of eligibility are very different across countries, clients differ in their dependency, frailty and availability of informal care. In some countries recipients of home care more behave like critical consumers knowing their rights than those in other countries. Henceforth, systems may differ in the way clients are informed, can choose and, if necessary, can submit complaints. Another difference concerns the acknowledgement and role of informal carers, which is reflected, for instance, in the possibility for informal carers to be supported (e.g. with respite care). Here again, it turns out that very little comparative information is available at this point.
On the basis of results of a literature review and from consultations with experts across Europe, the EC-financed EURHOMAP project has developed an extensive set of indicators to map home care systems, including the position and situation of clients and informal carers. EURHOMAP partners collected the data in 2009 and early 2010, in collaboration with experts in 31 European countries. Results were described in uniformly structured country reports and fed back to national experts for validation. An additional source of information was the answers on questions related to four ‘vignettes’ (hypothetical case descriptions of home living people in need of care). These questions were answered by a panel of key informants in each country.
In most countries the largest share among recipients of home care consists of people above the age of 65 years. The number of recipients of home care varied enormously. In some countries home is almost limited to the elderly, while in other countries a wider range of services is provided to a wider vaiety of client and patient groups, including those in need of palliative (end-of-life) care and those in need of post-hospital care. Great differences were found in empowering recipients of home care (such as: offering choice of provider, type of provider; personal budget as an option; and availability of benchmark information to enable recipients to compare providers). The 31 countries will be compared on the availability of payment of informal carers; whether the tasks of informal carers have been laid down in a care protocol; whether the availability of informal care is taken into account in the needs assessment.
Countries strongly differ in the number of home care recipients, their position in the system and the role of informal carers in the allocation and provision of formal care.
Subject: Nursing & Caring Sciences\General
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