New Health Care Reform Only Partially Improves Long-Term Care Situation
becoming a challenge for society.
More and more people in Germany are in need of long-term care. Caritas is in favour of developing new ways of providing care that is affordable and meets people’s individual needs.
Caritas has worked to develop new forms of living and caring over the last few years. It has also developed new guidelines for care, ways of supporting family carers and new funding models. The German government integrated some of these points in its consultative document for establishing a new nursing care law in October 2007.
Supporting Family Carers
For more than two thirds of those in need of long-term care in Germany, family members are the ones to help them manage their everyday lives. In order to support carers, additional care arrangements are needed for several hours during the day, or even ‘around the clock’. This is why Caritas has developed needs-based care models that are affordable.
Multi-Tier Financing Models for Affordable Long-Term Care
The German Caritas Association proposed a multi-tier model for the sustainable financing of Germany’s national nursing care insurance. In the first tier, a system for the balancing of risks between state and private nursing care insurances is to be established. In the second tier, collective capital stock is accumulated for absorbing the strain of demographic change up to the year 2050. This proposal has not been widely discussed so far, because the federal government chose to exclude financing issues in the new legislation.
Strengthening Domiciliary Care
Based on the demands from welfare associations, the law was changed in 2007 to at least improve the situation of people with dementia regardless of whether they are cared for in their own homes or in institutions. The German Caritas Association successfully demanded an increase in day care services and in the support for volunteers. After receiving certification, day care centres are now able to make their internal quality improvement efforts more transparent to improve the quality of life of their patients.
Source: The 2007 Annual Report of the German Caritas Association.