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The InCARE project will contribute to the design  of a coherent and coordinated approach to the development of national long-term care policy and care services at local and regional level, by establishing socially innovative and participatory decision-making processes.

We work with care users, care provider organizations and policy-makers in Spain, Austria and North Macedonia to design, implement and scale-up innovative care services, with the ultimate goal of improving the well-being of older people and their families and increase their access to adequate and affordable care.

[Translated] I was my husband’s caregiver for 7 years. He passed away from a rare and orphaned neurodegenerative disease (PSP). When the diagnosis was announced, we felt abandoned. Then it was very difficult to find quality help even if we paid. I retired 2 years before the legal age to continue to help him. Our last and most terrible test was to have his advance directives respected. He could no longer swallow, so he could not eat or drink. He refused the gastrostomy and wanted deep sedation. I had to fight again and again to have his wishes respected. So abandoned from beginning to end!

Woman, 62

My mother could afford to pay for care but we couldn’t get consistent reliable care due to the pandemic. We chose a residence but even they are limited to what they can provide and in Canada if a higher level of care is required then the person needs to go to LTC which wasn’t available at the time and she ended up staying in hospital until she passed. The government offers home supports with a cookie cutter approach; not tailored to what would make staying in her home possible. PSWs [personal support workers] to help shower and dress but no service to wash dishes. She could shower, [but] she needed help with dinner and dishes or laundry. The maximum hours [funded by the] Government is 4 hours/week not enough to sustainably stay home.

Woman, 55
[Translated – excerpt] Long-term care is an obligation of society. The administration has to participate and set criteria for equality, but it has to get involved in management, if it wants to do so under the same conditions as everyone else. Give a choice to the citizen who chooses what he/she wants, not what the administration thinks (free choice). Care should be directed by the people, not only centred on them. Empowerment of the citizen. Promote professional training and above all competences and skills. Increase staff ratios and salaries, and above all work/family/leisure balance. There is a lot of work to be done.

Man, 55
[Translated] It is complicated to get help when the parent who needs it is living abroad (France) and it is impossible for him/her to live alone. Because no retirement home can be found for him/her, the only solution is to take him/her at home (in another country of the European Union)

Woman, 63

“It’s very difficult to take care of elderly. It causes a lot of stress with effects on health. Wished for some more support structures. Needs have to be assessed often as they can change frequently.”

Woman, 49
[Translated] I care for my husband after a stroke and brain hemorrhage, which means he needs me around the clock. I would like to have a paid time off of one week once a year and my husband is well taken care of and does not feel “deported”. After all, by taking care of him, I save the state a lot of money!

Woman, 72
[translate] I hope your study can contribute to helping older people in need of care.

Man, 26

As a person caring for my spouse I receive a payment from my social protection department to cover my role. This payment amounts to less than 1x€ per hour as I’m needed to be there 24 hrs per day to assist 365 days per year. I think I should receive a better benefit to do this task.

Man, 63
[Translated] It would be good if the decisions were also upheld when the care allowance is raised. Often the decision ends up in court and it is possible to challenge it. It should not be made difficult for those who are dependent on this financial support.

Woman, 36

Start to talk openly [about] discrimination of elderly in Sweden which has been going on AT least 20 years by now [emphasis in original].

Woman, 52
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