LONG-TERM CARE – THE NEW SOCIAL RISK IN EUROPE
The ageing of population, changes in the family model, and increased number of women-players on the labour market, as well as changing values and attitudes towards informal delivery of services are the new variables which are becoming a major challenge to the adequacy of European social systems. Until recently, the question as to whose responsibility it is to take care of dependent elderly persons has had a straightforward answer – the family; therefore the problem was not in the focus of attention of politicians or governments. The current situation is totally different and due to the trends towards an increase in the number of people in need of care, the reduced number of available caretakers, and the ever growing public and private expenditure on social services, the issue has now turned from private into a public one to all EU member states. Therefore, long-term care of elderly people has been labeled as ‘a new social risk’.