Long-Term Care in Turkey: Towards a Growing Crisis of Aged Care

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Serkan Değirmenci

Abstract

Turkey exemplifies a typical familialistic long-term care regime as having a negligible degree of state and market participation in the active delivery of aged care services. However, demographic and economic changes necessitate a transition towards a new type of care regime. An upward shift in the population’s age structure and increasing economic strains weaken the caregiving capacities of Turkish families. This paper analyzes demographic and economic factors within a demand-supply framework to question the future sustainability of the existing care regime. It presents descriptive evidence for a growing crisis of aged care in Turkey by focusing on long-term care. It also assesses the implications of a cash-for-care (CfC) scheme devised by the government to keep the care provision of disabled older people within the family sphere. Overall, this paper contributes to the ongoing debates on the distribution of aged care responsibilities by conceptualizing the proposed solution as semi-familialized care–namely, a set of alternative strategies to overcome the aged care challenges families face in Turkey. The main pillars of this proposal are much greater involvement of the state in aged care, together with some support services and entitlements granted to the family caregivers.

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Serkan Değirmenci, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Turkey

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References

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