International Journal of Integrated Care, 31 December 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Poster abstract
Towards preventive long-term care pathways for older people—INTERLINKS and the case of Austria
Georg Ruppe, MD, MA, Researcher, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, Austria
Correspondence to: Georg Ruppe, E-mail: ruppe@euro.centre.org
Abstract


Introduction and background: Receiving long-term care (LTC) in old age is still widely associated with a definite and dead-end situation. For this reason preventive and rehabilitative measures for older people already in need of continuous care have not yet been perceived or treated as health policy issues of great importance. The data for this presentation and case description are based on national as well as international reports on the provision and quality of long-term care services that were undertaken during the project INTERLINKS (2008–2011) financed by the 7th Framework Programme by the EU Commission. Special attention in this project is given to the coordination and transition processes between preventive, rehabilitative, informal, health and social care services in different European countries.


Aims: Analyse concepts of prevention and rehabilitation within the LTC provision for older people and discuss in this respect good practice as well as inherent incentives or disincentives across an LTC pathway example in Austria.


Interim result/conclusion: Well-coordinated and comprehensive concepts of prevention and rehabilitation, which might well go beyond our conventional and often one-dimensional understanding of such measures, represent potential elements for sustainable LTC systems and will require a lot more attention and integration in the future. Analysing quality of services as well as transition processes between these services with the help of LTC pathway examples allows for better insight into system-related preventive or rehabilitative potential and respective incentives and disincentives.

Keywords
long-term care pathways; prevention; rehabilitation; Austria