Thematic Panel 18: COVID-19 and Long-term care for older people – international policy responses and learnings

Elena Bogdanova, European University at St.Petersburg (EUSPb)
Tine Rostgaard, Roslkilde University

The COVID-19 pandemic took the long-term care systems around the world by surprise. Facing unknown virus, each country developed its own urgent and ad hoc measures of coping with the challenge. Some introduced strict quarantine measures, others avoided such restrictions. Overall, measures were mainly aimed at the nursing home sector, neglecting the home care sector, and measures often did not consider the effect for members of staff. The effect of COVID-19 on long-term care users and staff has varied by countries and may depended on different factors, including institutional features, cultures of care, integration of health and social care etc. Different countries entered the pandemic at different stages of evidence of how it spread, with different resources for coping with the infection, different cultural models of care, and relying upon different organizational modes of care provision. Therefore, the issue of successful resistance to the pandemic in a time pressure situation is an important empirical and theoretical question, which requires broad discussion, sensitive to a variety of circumstances. With this Thematic Panel, we invite single-country and comparative studies about COVID-19 policy responses and learnings from the long-term care sector.

Open Panel

This open session welcomes papers that strongly relate to the Conference theme Time and temporality in care policies and practices – but do not specifically match any thematic panel.

Paper should focus on one or more research areas at the core of the Transforming care Network – early child education and care, care for adults with disabilities and long-term care for older people – and tackle at least one key dimension:

    • Changes in the institutional setting of care systems and in care policy


    • Impact and dilemmas of social and policy innovation in care services


    • Changes in intergenerational care arrangements and informal care


    • Transformations affecting care workers and their working conditions


  • Care policies and practices during the Corona pandemic: difficulty in crisis management, social and political impacts, prospects for the future.

Thematic Panel 15: How to measure care? Innovative reflections and proposals with quantitative and qualitative approaches

Karina Batthyany and Natalia Genta, Universidad de la República

In direct connection with the theme of the 5th Transforming Care Conference, related to time, this symposium receives proposals that seek to analyze the different ways of measuring care, with time being one of the most frequent. Surveys of Time Use, a privileged instrument to quantify the time of unpaid work has been used for several decades around the world. These measurements allow the calculation of the overall unpaid workload, including specific care activities.
However, this instrument has limitations to measure care activities, questions already discussed in the literature.

In this thematic panel we focus on presentations on innovative methodologies to measure care, through quantitative and qualitative strategies that allow quantifying the time of care, its distribution between men and women, the differences in the types of care tasks performed, the uses that families do care in institutions and how they combine it with the time provided at home, among others.

In addition to this, there are key elements that allow understanding the time dedicated to care (such as care services in the country as well as family assessments and gender mandates related to care). The incidence of these elements in the time that families spend on care is also a central element, with which we invite proposals in this regard.

Finally, we especially celebrate comparative studies between countries, especially those that compare countries from different regions of the world. In the Latin American region, it is especially important to deepen the comparative view, more present in other regions.

Thematic Panel 14: Negotiating and arranging care during the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting grounds: the effectiveness of policies in shaping a responsive and resilient care system

Shereen Hussein, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy and practice responses have profoundly impacted care and time to care across the world. The policy measures taken to control the infection spread have further affected care disproportionately. Evidence is mounting of higher infection and death rates in care settings, and the workforce is at the forefront of negotiating a complex set of challenges. COVID19 pandemic, and measures taken to contain the disease, are having a profound impact on the individuals and health and care systems calling for a consorted recovery policy response. At the individual level, there are significant effects on care recipients, their family and the care workers’ physical, mental and social wellbeing. The care systems have experienced enormous pressures on the organisation and delivery of care, including the workforce. Furthermore, the pandemic has clearly shown the effect of profoundly rooted health inequalities with disproportionate mortality rates among ethnic and less socio-economically advantaged groups.

The response to the pandemic, especially at the early stages, illustrated the impact of the disparities between health and care systems where discharge, isolation and infection containment guidelines simply did not account for the spill-over across the two systems nor the specific dynamics of each. Furthermore, the UK and Europe are experiencing other forces of change at different policy levels, including Brexit and economic downturn exacerbated by the response to COVID-19, adding immense pressures to existing policy challenges. The full impact of Brexit on the care systems is yet to be realised. However, there are significant implications expected on the workforce, care regulation and supply and cross-border care arrangements, among others.

This session is calling for papers addressing some of the following questions, utilising appropriate policy, qualitative or qualitative research methods and analyses:

How do current policies consider and shape time for care in response to system shocks across the globe?
Comparative analyses of the policy response to COVID-19 and their implications on care arrangements and outcomes?
How Brexit and end of free labour mobility affect different care actors, care professionals, caregivers and care receivers across Europe?
What role, if any, of innovations and technology in responding to long-standing and emerging challenges in arranging and delivering care?
How care delivery and arrangements, especially in low and middle-income countries, have been impacted by the pandemic?

Thematic Panel 16: Comparing long-term care policies in time and space: Historical developments and cross-country variations

Panel convenors:
Johanna Fischer, University of Bremen
Heinz Rothgang, University of Bremen
Lorraine Frisina Doetter, University of Bremen

The extent of state involvement in the field of long-term care (LTC) differs between countries and has changed considerably over time. The historical inception of public programmes concerned with LTC often was rudimentary, fragmented and focused at the most vulnerable population groups. In the last decades, LTC for the old-age population has increasingly become a salient issue in many parts of the world, calling to be politically addressed. For instance, many countries in Europe have established (limited) social protection for LTC rather early and experienced different kinds of reforms since the 1990s. More recently, countries in the Global South like China or Uruguay are increasingly discussing and introducing public policies for LTC as well.

This thematic panel focuses on the varieties of public LTC schemes in different time periods and countries. We aim to address the following questions. In which contexts did first – often rudimentary – LTC policies emerge, which form did they take and how did they develop subsequently? How do past and present LTC arrangements compare across countries and regions? Do we see similarities between early adopters of social protection for LTC in the Global North and recent undertakings in the Global South?

We invite papers addressing one or several of the above questions which focus on long-term care for the elderly and/or adults with disability. Papers should take a macro-perspective on LTC policies, looking at historical developments and/or cross-country variations. We welcome papers dealing with any region of the world and especially encourage submissions that explore more embryonic developments unfolding in recent years in countries of the Global South. Contributions may focus on individual countries or cover a wider set of cases comparatively.