Post-socialist eldercare in the Czech Republic

Institutions, families, and the market

Authored by: Adéla Souralová , Eva Šlesingerová

The Routledge Handbook of Social Care Work Around the World

Print publication date:  January  2018
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472479457
eBook ISBN: 9781315612805
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315612805-12

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Abstract

All European countries are facing long-lasting profound demographic changes characterized mainly by ageing populations. The phenomenon of demographic ageing is the result of the decline in the birth rate and the simultaneous prolongation of life expectancy. The problems arising from this situation have affected more or less all European countries, including the Czech Republic, since the mid-twentieth century. The increasing proportion of senior citizens within the population has become a big social issue in contemporary Czech society (Kubal?íková and Havlíková, 2016; Svobodová, 2008; Vidovi?ová and Rabušic, 2003). Model projections created by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) indicate that by 2050, about 33 per cent of the entire population will be people over 65, which means more than 2.5 million people. People over 70 and over 80 will also increase significantly (CZSO, 2013). This transformation of the demographic structure of the population has brought an increasing need for eldercare, as most older people do not live in conditions sufficient for their well-being, adequate quality of life, and self-reliance to their end of lives (based on their life expectancy). A significant number of older people spend the end of their lives partly or totally dependent on care assistance. Moreover, various Czech social actors construct ageing as a form of illness. Growing older, and even dying, is medicalized and treated as a diagnosis. Care service actors predominantly view the elderly as dependent and ill (Dudová, 2015; Kubal?íková et al., 2015).

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