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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.

[…] My elderly grandmother lived with my family for 25 years and she needed substantial care for the last 15 years of that. My mother was a full time carer for her and could not work. There was definitely family expectation that this would be the case. Eventually she was too frail to be at home and she lived in a nursing home for the the last 10 or so years of her life. Both of my parents mental and physical health improved substantially after that. They were still involved in visiting frequently, bringing food, doing laundry but they were also able to live their own lives. I feel very strongly that care should be provided for older people

Woman, 40

Every person in need of care must be cared for so that he or she has all the dignity required. Taking into account their limitations, they must be provided with the highest possible quality of life. This care must be provided by family members and professional staff so that their affective and assistance needs are covered.

Woman, 64
[translated] Well, I hope that caregivers get a protected or priority status – I mean at work and as workers, everyone needs us, our attention, and to some extent it feels like we are omnipotent and can care for others, care for ourselves and sometimes, care for our parents. That is wrong.

Man, age not specified
North Macedonia
[translated] I would gladly take care of my family members if there were not serious issues that put a big barrier between me and them. It’s easy to place the responsibility on the shoulders of family members when one needs support, but no one considers that the one who is supposed to be the caregiver may be rejected from this role. It is a particular situation, but unfortunately not unique.

Woman, 52
[Translated] I lost my father last year (cancer). We kept him at home, with my brothers and sister, almost until the end; we are now looking after our mother. She has been in a nursing home for several months. We take turns every day to get her up, wash her, dress her, feed her and take her out. The staff at the care home is always on leave, there is a high turnover of staff. Not only does my mother pay, we each pay a small part of the accommodation, but we are the ones who take care of her from morning to night. That’s why we are part-time.

Woman, 55
[translated -excerpt, emphasis in original text] Home-based assistance offered by the Romanian state to older people DOES NOT EXIST. This is unacceptable. […] for sick people and the elderly the situation is extremely BAD. There is no help. No state funded services to help them at home or in an institution, facilities for the elderly are so bad they are more like prisons or labour camps. I also strongly advise you to do a study and personal visits to psychiatric hospitals, and how mental health is treated in Romania.

Woman, 39

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

The government should invest in training social workers, so that quality of care is as high as possible, and at the same time the social status of social workers, professional carers and nursing staff is raised, they are better paid, and young persons would like to choose such careers.

Woman, 69

I visit my stepmother who is in a wheelchair after a severe stroke 14 years ago. She can cope with the costs of care so I can see the restrictions she faces even when there is sufficient money. She is physically but not mentally disabled. She is unable to use a smart phone or an I-pad and needs 24 [hour] help. She cannot use even disabled toilets. Access into taxis is difficult and impossible in a private car.

Woman, 74
United Kingdom
[Translated] I don’t understand why people with high income and property don’t have to pay for their own place in [residential] care homes!

Woman, 74
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