Care for the elderly is a major talking point throughout the world. With life expectancy increasing, it’s important for us to find the most effective ways of making life better for our ageing populations. However, different countries have different ideas about what constitutes the best way forward – with these often being based around cultural, as well as practical, norms. So, what is working well across the globe?
Here, we’re going to look at a few of the countries that excel when it comes to elderly health care. With so much experience and knowledge out there, it only makes sense to explore what other nations are doing well to see if we can improve our understanding and, hopefully through that, the quality of life of elderly people.
Elderly Care in the United Kingdom
Before we look elsewhere though, it’s only fair to say that the United Kingdom is widely viewed as being among the best places for elderly people. There are plenty of reasons for this, however, one clue might be in the report of high satisfaction rates in things like social connectedness – something we know is vital to people’s mental well-being.
In terms of care services, we have what is often referred to as staggered care. This means that we gradually move people into care depending on their needs, with options like assisted living being available alongside residential care. Versatility is one of the United Kingdom’s best elderly care assets.
Belgium’s system is similar to the United Kingdom’s in that it also has a focus on allowing older people to have the amount of care that they need, as they need it. This is opposed to giving them a black and white choice between living at home or in residential care.
In Belgium’s case, this is done with the aid of ‘service flats’. These allow elderly people to maintain their own space and independence, but can also offer help when it’s needed. This is available alongside respite facilities for short stays, which allow loved ones to be able to break away from their care duty when it is required. Respite care is absolutely vital for many people, as it allows them to continue to provide care while also allowing for flexibility.
One country that faces a serious challenge when it comes to elderly care is Germany due to an increasingly ageing population. It has been predicted that there could be as many as 23 million Germans over the age of 65 by 2035. To adequately provide the care needed, Germany has focused on training schemes in order to ensure that there are enough qualified carers to meet these demands.
In terms of the care offered, you’ll see a mix of cohabiting, community apartments – which are excellent for improving social interactions that are so vital to all of our mental health – and stays in full-time care homes. That being said, the latter is less popular here than in other countries. There are also multigenerational houses, which bring together social centres for the elderly and kindergarten children to facilitate socialisation between generations.
Generally considered to be the best place in the world for the quality of life of its elderly people, we can’t say that all of Norway’s successes come down to the care system alone. The country has combined a number of exceptional factors, including a well-funded care system, excellent public transport, high employment rates among older people, plenty of social opportunities to remain an active part of the community, top quality public health care, and excellent natural resources. All these come together to create a system that most other developed countries are striving towards.
Ultimately, Norway’s has achieved all this through proper planning and funding across the board. They are not changing the game solely with innovations in elderly care, but rather they make every effort to deliver properly and to a high standard in all areas of citizen life.
What Makes for Great Quality Elderly Care?
What we can see here is that quality health care for the elderly, in virtually all countries which can be viewed as being exceptional in this regard, comes down to a few common characteristics. First off, versatility is so important in allowing people to access the correct level of care. Being faced with limited options sadly means that people often go without.
On top of that, the importance of socialising becomes incredibly clear when we look at these different systems. The benefits of intergenerational socialisation (something we do is something Furthermore, we can see just how fundamental adequate training, funding and facilities are. Regardless of the specifics, without those things, no elderly care system can be viewed as effective.