Guaranteeing universal access to long-term care and the financial sustainability of long-term care systems for older people

Key points

The Committee

  • considers that dependency on care is one of life's risks, the impact of which is difficult for an individual to bear alone and which therefore calls for an intergenerational solidarity-based shared responsibility; the form which this responsibility takes must be decided mainly at national or regional level, taking account of different family and tax structures, employment situations, mobility, housing, population density, established traditions and attitudes;
  • finds that it is both right and necessary for the subject to be dealt with by the EU institutions; the exchange of experience, through the open method of coordination for example, has a particularly important role to play here, and in some cases legislative measures are also needed;
  • underlines that facing up to the needs resulting from the increase in life expectancy requires tackling difficult questions of intergenerational justice and solidarity; the ultimate objective must be to make it possible for old and very old people in Europe to live their lives safely and with dignity, even if they are dependent on care, while at the same time ensuring that this does not impose unbearable burdens on the younger generations;
  • calls on the European Council and the Commission, together with the Member States, to tackle the problems of an ageing population as a matter of urgency;
  • puts forward a number of recommendations in relation to "Financing and affordability", "Care and supply of services", "Care workers", "Care in the family", "Rules, standards and quality" and "Use of information and communication technologies".