Services and benefits for old people

Social security for older people consists of services and income security. The services are organised as part of healthcare and social welfare.

The responsibility for the organisation of services lies with wellbeing services counties, which grant services based on an individual assessment of the need for services. Wellbeing services counties can produce services themselves or purchase them from other wellbeing services counties or private service providers.

Services promoting wellbeing

Rehabilitation and services that promote wellbeing are used to maintain the functional capacity of older people. The services include advisory services, health checks to support wellbeing, health, functional capacity and independent coping, and appointments or home visits, especially for older people belonging to risk groups. 

Assessment of the need for services

If an older person needs home care, informal care, housing services, institutional care, services for people with disabilities, income support or other social welfare services, the authorities of the wellbeing services county assess their need for the services before granting them.

Health services

Health services include primary healthcare services in the wellbeing services county, such as health checks, dental care, home nursing, rehabilitation services and assistive devices. The necessary specialised healthcare services are also primarily provided by the wellbeing services county. 

Services and benefits for veterans

Services and benefits for veterans are intended for the rehabilitation, care and income security of those who served in the wars of 1939–1945. You can find more information about benefits for veterans in the section Income security

Housing services

Housing services and benefits can be used to support the independent living of older people by granting support for home modifications or by providing suitable housing and the necessary services. 

Home care

From 1 January 2023, home care includes the contents previously included in home services as well as home nursing. 

An older person’s functional capacity and ability to cope in everyday life can be strengthened with support services, which include a meal service, laundry and clothes care, cleaning service, help with shopping and other affairs and a service that promotes or supports inclusion and social interaction.

Institutional care

If living at home or in a service flat is not possible for an older person, care can be arranged as institutional care.

Support for informal care 

The municipality can grant informal care support to family members or other close persons of persons who need care.

Services for people with memory disorders

Healthcare and social welfare personnel provide guidance and advice on services needed by people with memory disorders. Many wellbeing services counties have nurses, counsellors or coordinators specialised in memory disorders. Local memory disorder associations and their regional experts also offer advice and guidance.

Further information

Satu Karppanen, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Communities and Functional Capacity / YTO, Functional Capacity Unit / TOK Telephone:0295163549   Email Address: