The state of informal care and voluntary assistance in Europe
In Europe, 80% of all care is provided by informal carers – i.e. people providing usually unpaid care to someone with a chronic disease, disability or any other long-lasting health or care need, outside of a professional or formal framework.
Although carers are the cornerstone of our long-term care systems, their contribution is seldom acknowledged and their needs rarely discussed. Yet, current societal trends (including notably the ageing of our societies, the increasing occurrence of comorbidity among dependent people, and the increasing mobility and changes in family structures) put informal carers under excessive pressure.
The sustainability of their effort is at stake and without adequate support, these people are likely to reach a breaking point and become unable to provide quality care anymore. Some policies and practices have been developed to address this reality, mostly at local level, but they remain largely insufficient, extremely fragmented, geographically uneven and not always sustainable.
This report is designed to help all project partners of the North Sea Region Interreg project In For Care as a basis to work with during the whole project period. The content contains into an overview of quantitative and qualitative aspects of volunteering and informal care in Europe, in the participating countries: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
We are also releasing the report for anyone interested in the field of informal care and voluntary assistance in the North Sea Region. You can download the report here.