Social Support and Long-Term Care for Older People: The Potential for Social Innovation and Active Ageing

  • Katharine Schulmann
  • Monika Reichert
  • Kai Leichsenring


How should ‘social innovation’ be understood in the context of active ageing and long-term care for older people, and to what extent are the countries of Europe actively fostering innovation in the care sector? Based on in-depth, comparative case study analysis of select countries, the authors discuss the drivers and barriers of social innovation practices and policies across different care regime typologies. They identify clear ‘first mover’ and ‘early mover’ countries where evidence points to complex, integrated service innovations being scaled up with public sector support and ‘starter’ countries where less complex innovations tend to operate on a small scale, for short periods of time, with limited public support. The authors outline four areas where the need and potential for social innovation is greatest: expanding the type and scope of long-term care services, improving integration and coordination of long-term care systems, developing community-based care models, and improving the employment and training opportunities within the care sector.



The authors would like to thank and acknowledge the contributions to this chapter by Georgia Casanova and Giovanni Lamura, National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing (INRCA), Ancona, Italy; Mihaela Ghenta, Speranta Pirciog, Aniela Matei and Luise Mladen, National Research Institute for Labour and Social Protection (INCSMPS), Bucharest, Romania; Niku Määttänen and Tarmo Valkonen, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA), Helsinki, Finland; Gerli Paat-Ahi and Vootele Veldre, Praxis Centre for Policy Studies Foundation, Tallinn, Estonia; Gerhard Naegele and Sandra Schulze, Technical University Dortmund, Institute for Gerontology (TUD IFG), Dortmund, Germany; Anett Mária Tróbert and Zsuzsa Széman, Institute for Sociology, Research Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (IS RCSS HAS), Budapest, Hungary; Rita Gouveia and Karin Wall, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (ICS), Lisbon, Portugal.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine Schulmann
    • 1
  • Monika Reichert
    • 2
  • Kai Leichsenring
    • 1
  1. 1.European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and ResearchViennaAustria
  2. 2.TU Dortmund UniversityDortmundGermany

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