Care Providers – Formal care

[SOURCE: Glanz A and Knapp M (2017) Understanding substantive and theoretical issues in long-term care. Glossary of key terms. From: Social Protection Investment in Long-Term Care Project, HORIZON 2020 - Grant Agreement No 649565. European Union. (The resource is accessible here)]

Formal care is the term given to the long-term care (LTC) services delivered by paid staff employed through a formal entity (i.e. one with a constitution, formal set of rules, legal incorporation or other nationally determined requirement). Formal carers have employment contracts that specify their duties and care responsibilities, hours, pay and entitlements. Some formal care staff will have professional qualifications or may need to be trained and/or licensed.

Formal care providers may be in the public (state or governmental) sector, the private non-profit sector (i.e. constitutionally independent of government, non-profit distributing and with a meaningful degree of voluntarism), the private for-profit sector (again constitutionally independent of government, but now with the ability to distribute profits among owners) or in a growing variety of hybrid organisations (Anheier 2005).

There are quite marked differences between countries, but a common core of formal long-term care services can be recognised, including: needs assessment processes; information and advice services; self-help support groups; respite care; crisis management services; day centres and programmes; support for people in their own homes (‘home care’, including home help, meals, community nursing); nursing home and residential care provision; and a variety of housing-with-support services (such as ‘sheltered housing’ and ‘extra-care housing’).

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