Timonen, V., J. Convery and S. Cahill ‘Care revolutions in the making? A comparison of cash-for-care programmes in four European countries’ in Ageing and Society, 26, (3), 2006, pp 455 - 474
Ageing and Society 26 3
This article describes and evaluates cash-for-care programmes for older people
in four European countries, namely Home-Care Grants in Ireland, Direct Payments in
the United Kingdom (England), Service Vouchers in Finland and Personal Budgets in
The Netherlands. The purpose is to raise understanding of the background and
reasons for the introduction of cash-for-care programmes and their impact on the
countries’ care regimes. It is argued that while the motives for introducing cashfor-
care programmes in the four countries are similar, namely to promote choice
and autonomy, to plug gaps in existing provision, to create jobs, and to promote
efficiency, cost savings and domiciliary care, the relative importance of these goals
varies. Current cash-for-care programmes have comparatively modest coverage
as compared with direct service provision and provide no more than an optional,
supplementary source of care in three of the studied countries. Cash-for-care
schemes have not radically transformed the care regimes in Finland, The
Netherlands or the United Kingdom. In Ireland, however, the restricted availability
of alternative forms of formal service provision means that the expansion
of cash-for-care might shift care provision significantly towards private provision
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