Care revolutions in the making? A comparison of cash-for-care programmes in four European countries.
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Citation: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
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 and financing.
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Series/Report no:Ageing and Society