Exploring the impact of austerity-driven policy reforms on the quality of the long-term care provision for older people in Belgium and the Netherlands

David Janssen*, Wesley Jongen, Peter Schröder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this case study, European quality benchmarks were used to explore the contemporary quality of the long-term care provision for older people in the Belgian region of Flanders and the Netherlands following recent policy reforms. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with various experts on the long-term care provision. The results show that in the wake of the economic crisis and the reforms that followed, certain vulnerable groups of older people in Belgium and the Netherlands are at risk of being deprived of long-term care that is available, affordable and person-centred. Various suggestions were provided on how to improve the quality of the long-term care provision. The main conclusion drawn in this study is that while national and regional governments set the stage through regulatory frameworks and financing mechanisms, it is subsequently up to long-term care organisations, local social networks and informal caregivers to give substance to a high quality long-term care provision. An increased reliance on social networks and informal caregivers is seen as vital to ensure the sustainability of the long-term care systems in Belgium and in the Netherlands, although this simultaneously introduces new predicaments and difficulties. Structural governmental measures have to be introduced to support and protect informal caregivers and informal care networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-104
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Long-term care
  • Austerity
  • Policy reforms
  • Quality of care
  • Quality benchmarks

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