On What Level Do European Welfare States Help to Avoid Poverty Risk of the Elderly

By: Jia Xu  

In order to relieve old age potential poverty, European welfare states have shifted their focus increasingly towards long-term care strategies. Research assessing the generosity of welfare states in the long-term care policy field to the elderly mainly focus on government expenditure and policy benefit itself either in cash or in kind, however, these approaches disregarding the actual costs of the elderly have to face when they are in need of long-term care services and the consequences when there are gaps between care costs and care needs. Long-term care policy plays a role with regard to the poverty risk in the elderly. This paper takes a hypothetical approach on examining how far long-term care policy field compensate for the potential risk of poverty in the old age in cross-national analysis. Nevertheless, the elderly can face poverty risks for many reasons actually, for instance, not enough pension, being ill and being care needy or for gender differences or for widows whose pension credits partly rely on deceased partners. This paper focuses on the interrelationship between long-term care policy and potential poverty risk. It assesses long-term care policy designs in different European welfare states, evaluates the needs of older people in long-term care and to what extent the policy design covers these costs or leave gaps to hypothetical poverty risk. It includes the findings of generosity level of long-term care policy in a cross-national comparative study on the hypothetical impact on old age poverty risk in European welfare states.

Long-term care, Aging, European welfare states, Poverty
Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Jia Xu

Faculty of History and Social Science, AnHui Normal Univerisity, Germany
Hamburg, Germany

I am at the beginning of the third year sociological doctoral student research at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and my interest fields include ageing policies of European welfare states, especially pension and long-term care policy fields.