Innovation in Nordic Elderly Care

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: Booth 40
Oral Presentation
Rolf RØNNING , Lillehammer university college, Lillehammer, Norway
Innovation in Nordic elderly care

Innovations has for some decades now been seen as the engine for success in the competition at the market. Now the concept of innovation has made its way into public sector and even into elderly care.

This paper is about the efforts to innovate elderly care in the Nordic countries.

In many European countries there is a worry about the demographic changes in the population. The declining fertility rate and numerous cohorts from the after Second World War baby boom fading out of the labor market, are a challenges both for the pension system and the economy, as well as for the caring system. The challenges of the caring system are the focus for this chapter, especially the need for labour, or caring hands. The diagnosis is that too few people have to care for too many frail and elderly. Even if the Nordic countries do not have the most challenging rates between the generations, a caring deficit is seen as a growing and upcoming problem. In 2050 20% of the population is expected to be above 70 years, rising from 10% which is the situation today.

Most attention will be paid to the Norwegian situation.  Because of the fortunate economic situation in Norway, the country has probably been able to maintain a (Nordic) model with a strong public responsibility to a larger extent than their neighbors. Attention will be given to three of the main paths to innovations of the elderly care in the Nordic countries, we have labeled them privatization, use of caring technology and extended use of voluntary work.

The paper is  meant to be a “state of the art” paper, summing up the experiences so far, and reflecting on possible paths into the future.