Find out about the different care systems across Europe and how they compare to the elderly care system in the UK.
The UK has an ageing population with over 500,000 people aged over 90, 1.6 million aged over 85 and 5.4 million aged over 75. Europe is in a similar position, and statistics show that by 2070 it will have over 520 million elderly people aged 65 and over.
Both the UK and all of Europe are in need of better elderly care systems, but are they both equal now? Could the UK and the rest of Europe learn from each other for an improved approach to care all-round?
The Care System In The UK Compared To Europe
Across Europe it is thought that the care systems of Italy and France aren’t in particularly good shape. However, the care system in the UK is thought to be worse. Whereas some countries have made efforts to improve their care systems, The UK continues to lag behind because it is struggling to cope with the increase in elderly citizens.
The NHS bed blocking issue is an indication of the lack of support for the elderly. Elderly people are being kept in hospital much longer than they should because there is not an adequate care place available for them. This causes issues for the NHS, the elderly person and the whole care system.
It is also thought that the means testing in the UK is the most harsh in Europe, with a restriction on financial support if you have savings above £23,250 pounds (as at 2019). In comparison, France is thought to operate a more gently sloping and generous means test for the elderly.
Live-in Care Is England’s Saving Grace
Despite the issues with means testing and care availability, the UK does have a saving grace in live-in care. The live-in care industry in the UK is booming and for the benefit of all involved. Elderly people benefit by getting care in the home designed specifically to suit their needs. Compassionate, dedicated individuals benefit with access to employment in a growing industry.
The government also benefits because live-in care has been shown to help minimise the risk of issues like falls which can cause a person to need to stay in hospital for a long-time. Not only do they avoid the fall, but if they do go into hospital they have care in place at home so no bed blocking occurs.
Europe & England Care Systems Have Plenty Of Room For Improvement
Regardless of the comparisons between countries, the fact is that the human race has an ageing population because there is a general increase in population in every country. There is room for improvement with the care systems worldwide. Within the UK, there are numerous changes that need to be made if government funding were available.
Fortunately for those people who will have to pay for their own care there is the growing live-in care industry which has many benefits for all involved. The industry is booming and providing more and more care for those who need it, at reasonable costs – comparable with care homes.