The social investment approach applies to the whole life-course, including older age and long-term care. Simultaneously with the launch of the ‘Social Investment Package’ by the EC, a Commission Staff Working Document was published on ‘Long-term care in ageing societies – Challenges and policy options’ (European Commission SWD 2013a), calling for a ‘social investment-oriented strategy’ to address the specific policy challenges of long-term care for older people. The focus of SI in this context is on: initiatives that promote ‘active ageing’, sustaining participation in society and the economy; preventive strategies to reduce needs for care; or measures to improve efficiency in the utilisation of care resources.
In the context of ESSENCE, social investment is defined as:
Welfare expenditure and policies that generate equitable access to care to meet the needs of ageing populations, reduce current and future costs of care, improve quality of care and quality of life, increase capacities to participate in society and the economy, and promote sustainable and efficient resource allocation.
This definition contains many elements that in themselves would merit extensive further consideration – and thereby considerably extend the length of this report. However, a number of key terms are further defined below.
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Social Care Research