Professor Mary Daly delivers keynote address on the challenges of long-term care

Mary Daly

Professor Mary Daly delivered a keynote address on October 28th to the annual conference of the Social Policy Association of Finland, the oldest association of its kind in the world.

Professor Daly’s talk focused on long-term care as a major challenge for welfare states and societies, asking especially how the powerful transnational organisations - the EU, the ILO and the WHO - have responded with policy proposals. Her analysis demonstrated that long-term care is increasingly on the radar and that the international organisations are developing quite different approaches.

The EU’s European Care Strategy recommends that member states take actions to strengthen social protection and services for long-term care, improve working conditions of paid carers and develop a set of quality principles for care services (Read more here).

The ILO seeks both to improve the conditions and representation of paid care workers but also sees it as essential to improve unpaid care by recognising it, reducing it and also redistributing it (Read more here).

For the WHO, long-term care is a matter of ageing better and health over the life course as well as encouraging countries to put in place long-term systems as part of their policy architecture (Read more here).

Professor Daly concluded that, while considerable action is underway in this vibrant field of policy, there are many problems with current policy and provision that are not being addressed, the EU, ILO and WHO (alongside other organisations) have a major role to play but none of them has a comprehensive response.   

Professor Mary Daly said: "In Europe today, the ratio of unpaid to paid care is 7 to 1, the conditions of paid care workers tend to be on the poor side and many families are facing unmet need. These problems require big solutions."

View the presentation slides.