Trends and Developments in Health-Care and Social Services

  • Irma Mikkonen
  • Panayota Sourtzi
  • Riitta Turjamaa
  • Marja Äijö
  • Eeva-Riitta Ylinen
  • Evelyn J. Finnema
  • Job T. B. van ’t Veer


There are big differences in how health-care and social services for older people are organized in Europe. In spite of these differences, all countries face the challenge of the growing number of older people and have to deal with the same trends, developments and challenges. The ageing population demands concerted response all over Europe as the increasing number of older people has impact on changed needs in health-care and social services. Moreover, advancements in public health and medical technologies, along with improvements in living conditions, mean that people are living longer and, in many cases, healthier lives than before. Making health and active ageing a reality by keeping older people healthy and independent is a challenge that needs to be addressed comprehensively in different health and social care settings.

This chapter describes the health-care and social services for older people in different stages of their life and in different social and health-care settings. We discuss social services and health care from the viewpoint of health promotion and disease prevention, home care and community care, long-term care as well as palliative care. European countries utilize different approaches to organize health and social care services; however, nowadays, it is accepted that these services should be organized within the community setting. Different ways of organizing community care and services including help at home, day care and primary health care will be discussed. When neither support of family and informal caregivers nor the services of the community are able to offer enough support and care, institutional care in a residential or nursing home is considered. Developments in care for older persons living in long-term care facilities will be discussed.

Finally, technological innovations which may help to face some of the challenges will be described and discussed from the following viewpoints: how technology can support health and self-management for older population, what is the significance of human-centred design and how the technology is accepted among the older adults.


Prevention Independent living Community care Long-term care Palliative care Technological trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irma Mikkonen
    • 1
  • Panayota Sourtzi
    • 2
  • Riitta Turjamaa
    • 1
  • Marja Äijö
    • 1
  • Eeva-Riitta Ylinen
    • 1
  • Evelyn J. Finnema
    • 3
  • Job T. B. van ’t Veer
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Health CareSavonia University of Applied SciencesKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Nursing, Sector of Public Health, School of Health SciencesNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Research Group Care and WellbeingNHL Stenden University of Applied SciencesLeeuwardenThe Netherlands

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