Qualitative and quantitative aspects of formal and informal care

From 2011 to 2013, ARC, in cooperation with the Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, has been commissioned by the Swedish government to evaluate 19 local developmental projects for integrated health and social care services and ten collaborative networks for the care of older people across Sweden. This evaluation has highlighted the coordination problems that are common between local authorities and the providers of health and social care services for older people with complex health problems and severe care needs. These problems result from a lack of communication and coordinated care planning between the agencies responsible for eldercare. There are also boundary disputes between the service providers regarding responsibility for care provision and funding1. One example of evaluation work carried out in 2011‒2012, was the evaluation of a local developmental project for integrated health and social care organization for the oldest old in a municipality north of Stockholm (with 56,000 inhabitants). The project aimed to establish a unique integrated structure for the funding, organization, and delivery of care services to older people with severe care needs. The results showed that improved discharge planning and a safe return from the hospital to the home setting resulted in fewer readmissions than previously. Because of better integration of the care systems, the number of “bed-blockers”; i.e., those patients whose medical treatment is complete, has also decreased2.

  1. Hagman L, Johansson L, Wånell SE, Thorslund M. Försöksprojekt och nätverk för en bättre samverkan i vården och omsorgen om de mest sjuka äldre.  [Trial project and network for better cooperation in the care of frail elderly people].  Stockholm: Aging Research Center/ Stiftelsen Stockholms läns Äldrecentrum [Stockholm Gerontology Research Center]; 2012.
  2. Schön P, Hagman L, Wånell SE. Kan två bli en? TioHundraprojektets effecter på vård och omsorg för målgruppen de mest sjuka äldre. [Can two become one? Implementing an integrated health and social care organization for the oldest old with complex health problems] Stockholm: Stiftelsen Stockholms läns Äldrecentrum [Stockholm Gerontology Research Center]; 2012:1.