Proposals to develop informal care
Proposals on expanding informal care in health and social welfare sector aim to integrate it into the formal service structure.
The findings of social welfare counsellor Elli Aaltonen, appointed as a rapporteur by the MSAH to look into the reform of the informal care sector, comprise a range of suggestions for developing informal care as a way of improving outpatient and home care. They aim to make informal care an important part of the social welfare and health services.
Support for informal care would cover 8 percent of people over 75 years, and about 52,000 people under 75 receiving municipal support for this type of service. The proposals set a target date of 2012, with new legislation introduced in 2006 and responsibility for funding the informal care compensations being transferred to the state during 2007-2009.
Municipalities would continue to be responsible for supporting informal care and the increase in such services envisaged by the proposals would be financed by money currently earmarked for formal services.
The proposals also include the recommendation that framework agreements and recommendations by labour market organisations should be used to enhance informal care by using such things as job alteration leave, reduced working hours, accumulated holiday under the Annual Holiday Act, overtime leave and remote work.
The suggestions are part of a wide range of solutions being developed to prepare for increased demands on social and health services due to population ageing.