The welfare culture and the redesign of social elder-care in Finland

Guy Bäckman

Abstract

The welfare culture consists of doctrines and ideologies, beliefs, ideas, values and ideal norms that various groups and actors in the society have concerning the welfare state. The new ways of thinking, which are derived from the cultural turn and paradigm shift in social sciences, is in actual environments influenced and strengthened by economic and social changes, and also by the increasing number of old people. The Nordic welfare model (Denmark, Fin-land, Norway and Sweden), which is distinct from the other welfare models, is because of its basic ideological foundation, which also pertains to Finland, the general frame for the welfare culture. The characteristics of the environments in which people live, such as risks and uncertainties, impact thoughts and ideas they have about actual and preferred conditions, and influence the interest in renewal of welfare arrangements, schemes and services. Following this lead, we examine the changes in the legislation concerning social eldercare services and changes in provision and use of elder-care services in Finland. We also examine the division of responsibility for social eldercare between the public and private sector. Because the welfare arrangements are embedded in a complex cultural context, the research helps us to understand the shaping of the social eldercare. Great changes in the Finnish eldercare in favour of care at home or in a home-like environment have taken place. The goal “more home care, less institutional care” will serve even in the future as guidance in social eldercare.

Keywords

welfare culture, values, social policy, social eldercare, home-like environment

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ESP.2016.02.007
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