Eurodiaconia has released its latest policy brief on long-term care titled “Demographic Change, Ageing, Long-term Care & COVID”. The brief is based on input from our members’ social workers who tackle these issues on the ground every day and includes recommendations from our policy team in Brussels.
The publication looks into the state of play in the long-term care sector prior to COVID and then moves on to examine the effect of the outbreak on social service providers, patients, and caregivers. Particularly, attention is paid to the insufficient financial support, increased migration, high levels of isolation and loneliness, disparities in the quality of the provided services, staff shortages, lack of consistency in response policies at national level which have all contributed to the worsening situation in the sector.
It is noted that many of these issues have been around for years but the pandemic has further reinforced them. The most urgent problem is the increased demand for funding to deal with the unexpected outbreak which is not adequately met. As a result many social service providers have had to resort to using their own reserves to cover current expenditure, an approach which is not sustainable in the future.
The brief concludes by listing a number of recommendations for national and EU authorities such as adopting a long-term strategy for the sector, integrating health and social services, organising campaigns aimed at changing the public perception of the social worker, providing adequate funding.
For more information, please read the full policy brief.