Older people services

Social welfare for older people is made up of social and health services, and income security.

The MSAH is responsible for the running of services for older people. It determines the course of service development, draws up legislation and oversees the implementation of reforms. The ministry also monitors service standards through the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health and the Regional State Administrative Agencies.

Municipalities are responsible for arranging the social and health services that older people require.

Information for older people is available through the comprehensive information portal on citizens' services.

The MSAH and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities have published quality recommendation for services for older people.

Ageing policy

The MSAH sets out the policy concerning ageing in its strategy, in legislation, quality recommendations, programmes and projects.

The aim of the ageing policy is to promote older people's

  • functional capacity
  • independent living
  • active participation in society


Legislation entitles older people to MSAH services mainly according to need, and not necessarily according to one's age.

Legislation is pending that will safeguard the availability of social services for the older people.

Valvira and THL

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) operates  nationwide in guiding and overseeing social care. It guides the work of the Regional State Administrative Agencies to ensure that the suprevision and associated guidance is standardised throughout the country.

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) produces information on services for older people and their functional capacity and associated requirements.

Advisory Board for Ageing and Pensioners' Affairs monitors and assesses matters of income security, services and living conditions of older and retired people and makes initiatives on their development.