Development and Difficulties of the Eldercare System in Croatia

Ivana Dobrotić


The paper analyses and considers the character and consequences of reforms in the eldercare system in Croatia, putting reforms in comparative perspective and taking into account the existing knowledge on the effects of similar reforms in European countries. The analysis begins with the period of socialism when the eldercare policy started to develop and continues through the 1990s marked by pluralization of service providers and the beginnings of decentralization, and the period of the 2000s until today marked by growing fragmentation of the system and the professionalization of non-institutional forms of care. The social risk of dependence in older age does not have the necessary attention of policymakers. Reforms of the past twenty years aimed at cost-containment in the eldercare system and the reduced role of the state, and were reflected in marketization, individualisation and professionalization of care. The eldercare system failed to cope with the growing demand for services and remains of residual character, fragmented and characterized by social assistance orientation. Future reforms will have to seriously address the sustainability of the eldercare system, in particular sustainable solutions of financing long-term care.


eldercare; individualisation of care; professionalization of care; marketization of care

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096