Current strategy of social services for the elderly in the Czech Republic: the domiciliary care – opportunities and risks

Kateřina Kubalčíková, Masaryk University
Jana Havlíková, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs

Due to population aging, the need for long-term care is increasing. In many European countries is now a strong stated policy preference for care in the home as opposed to institutional care and policies on the local level are bearing out this preference. The purpose of this study is to report on the position of the domiciliary care within the Czech social services for the elderly and to explore its potential to support the elderly to “age in place”. In our contribution we first describe the European and national priorities in the policy of the elderly care and the system of social services for the elderly in the Czech Republic with a special respect to the domiciliary care. After that using a mix of quantitative (SHARE data) and qualitative (case study of one service) methodology, and relevant documents analysis we investigate both the current aim of the domiciliary care within the Czech social services system and its importance to the service users themselves. Above all we focus on the opportunities and threats of the domiciliary care potential for improving the quality of people’s aging. The aim is to understand this issue from the viewpoint of the different actors: service users, service workers and service managers as well. The results reveal that users considered domiciliary care as the only one service which allows them to stay at home despite their worsening capacity to manage activities of daily living. They emphasized the unsubstitutable role of domiciliary care at maintaining their physical and psychical comfort. On the part of the social service workers their qualification and shared conception of the clients significantly affected the delivered service quality. Finally, the managers highlighted i.a. the problems of both insufficient geographical availability and financial sustainability of the domiciliary care delivery.

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Presented in Session 69: Welfare policies in European countries