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Services for supporting family carers of elderly people in europe : characteristics, coverage and usage (EUROFAMCARE)

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How policies affect family care of the elderly

A report which analyses how current EU policies affect family carers of the elderly has been produced in the hope of highlighting both opportunities for improvement and obstacles to overcome.

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The EUROFAMCARE project has provided a European review of the conditions of family carers of elderly people in regards to existence, familiarity, availability, use and acceptability of supporting services. Six countries formed a trans-European core group. Furthermore, a pan-European wide integration of expertise was created through an integration of National Background Reports from 23 European countries. The project's motive was to promote changes in management processes at various policy levels to advance social policies for family carers of the elderly. In light of this, a policy evaluation report was produced by AGE. It resulted from the review of existing data beginning with policies in public areas such as social protection systems, labour market and employment, active ageing, economic migration and social inclusion. Since these sectors interact with one another, there can be an indirect impact on the situation of family carers in ways which are unexpected. The lack of cooperation between these different sectors may be one of the hindrances to supporting family carers of older people. Therefore such unpredictable social processes need policy maker's attention so that family care can be properly influenced. The review points out key lessons on managing change within the policy environment. This can help policy makers implement research evidence and find obstacles that prevent this. Additionally, major organisational issues regarding recommendation implementation were discovered and several suggestions were put forth.