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Open Access Care poverty: unmet care needs in a Nordic welfare state

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This article introduces the concept of care poverty, defined as inadequate coverage of care needs resulting from an interplay between individual and societal factors, and examines its level and predictors among the 75+ population in Finland. The data come from a survey conducted in 2010 and 2015. Despite the universalistic goals of the Finnish care system, 26 percent of respondents with limitations in daily activities faced care poverty with regard to instrumental activities of daily living; the activities of daily living care poverty rate was 17 percent. Concerning instrumental activities of daily living, care poverty was associated with income level, health status and living arrangements, while such connections were not found for personal care (activities of daily living).

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Keywords: Finland; care for older people; care poverty; unmet needs

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 2019

This article was made available online on September 25, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Care poverty: unmet care needs in a Nordic welfare state".

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Care and Caring (IJCC) is a new multidisciplinary journal designed to advance scholarship and debate in the important and expanding field of care and caring. Multidisciplinary and international in scope, it publishes high quality contributions on care, caring and carers from all regions of the world. IJCC has a broad focus, covering care and caring for people of any age who have long-term conditions, disabilities or frailties, or who are seriously ill or near the end of life. It explores the economic, organisational, political, social, legal, familial, transnational and ethical settings in which this care occurs.

    IJCC is concerned with care provided as paid work and as support for family members, friends or neighbours; with care in home, community and residential settings; and with formal and informal care relations, organisation, systems and markets. It focuses on 'receiving' and 'giving' care and on the gendered nature and social, political, legal and economic status and circumstances of care and caring. It debates the support needed in localities, workplaces and health systems to make care and caring feasible and rewarding for carers and dignified and supportive of independence for care recipients. IJCC welcomes contributions on caring relationships, the ethics and political economy of care, care as a focus of moral philosophy and feminist analysis and care and caring as sources of claims-making and challenge and as the spur for national and global social movements.

    The journal encourages critical engagement with policy and practice developments and aims to include contributions from different areas of the world in each edition. Its regular Debates and Issues section features dialogue with carers’ organisations, policymakers, trade unions, employers and academics, to encourage global dialogue and international sharing of ideas, expertise and experience.

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