Press Release

Minister Hoctor Launches SPARC Book on “Home Care for Ageing Populations”

Máire Hoctor, T.D, Minister for Older People, today (13th February, 2008) launched a  new book by The Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre (SPARC) In Trinity College Dublin.  The title of this publication is “Home Care for Ageing Populations: A Comparative Analysis of Home Care Services in Denmark, the United States and Germany”.

This book, which was published in January 2008, outlines key developments in the homecare systems in these three countries and explores the characteristics of each, with particular reference to the implications for care recipients.  New challenges facing policy makers in each of these countries are evaluated in depth, while service delivery details such as delivery systems and quality assurance, are also given a thorough comparative analysis.

The authors intend that this book will be of use in the process of developing policies around the home care of older people in Ireland.


In the light of population changes and the increasing cost of institutional care, the task of providing adequate community care has become a major policy concern internationally.  Most countries have made the decision that, wherever possible, such care should take place in the older person’s home.  As such, the demand for formal homecare services is set to increase significantly.

Denmark, Germany and the United States were chosen to be the subjects of this research, as they were deemed to have highly developed but diverse social care systems.  This book is intended to fill a gap in the literature in an area which is of growing interest, as policy makers become increasingly focused on care in the home for older people.

Innovative Features

Analysis of key elements of long term care systems which do not generally feature in such publications is included, for example, the mode of service delivery and the care staff.  Another unique feature is that this book examines the care system from the perspective of the care worker.

In the concluding chapter of this book, five issues which are considered of major importance are discussed, namely; financing and cost control, family and government balance, quality assurance, the care workforce and the future domiciliary care research agenda.

Speaking after the launch, Minister Hoctor said “this book will undoubtedly make a significant and welcome contribution to the debate about the future of older people and will also be an invaluable research tool for policy makers in many countries.”