Adapting care systems to suit an ageing society

Adapting Care Systems for an Ageing Society (PARETO) is a three-year project that aims to adapt care service systems to better serve the needs of Finland’s ageing population.

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Projects such as this are helping the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020, as set out in the EU 2020 growth strategy. The EU is facing some tough challenges, including an ageing population, an insufficiently qualified workforce, the need for greater innovation, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental degradation, and ensuring secure, clean energy supplies. Regional policy projects across the EU are playing an active role in dealing with these and many other challenges, by undertaking projects designed to generate employment, raise educational achievement, develop renewable energy sources, boost productivity and give all citizens access to opportunities. The projects and the regions play a pivotal role in this, as they generate real results that contribute to achieving the strategy’s key goals.

The project, which comprises five sub-projects, aims to identify and implement new and innovative solutions and working methods to adapt the service systems on all levels of care delivery: welfare services, housing services, primary care and special health care services.

Responding to the need for change

The rise in Finland’s elderly population and the simultaneous increase in the need for care together with a shortage in the workforce and diminishing financial resources have combined to force the need for structural change in care service systems.

The organisers of the PARETO project, Finland’s Ministry for Employment and the Economy (MA) and the Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Management and Architecture (HEMA) at the Aalto University School of Science (beneficiary), believe that swift changes have to be made on structural and organisational levels to guarantee care delivery in the immediate future.

One of the main challenges facing this project, supported by the ERDF and the participating municipalities in the region of Southern Finland, is the presence of old-fashioned premises as they are poorly suited to support a comprehensive reform.

Adapting all care services

Although the main pressure for change is on the Finnish elderly care system, work of this project will affect the whole range of care services: welfare services, housing services, primary care and special health care services. The five sub-projects of PARETO will cover the entire scope of services and their development.

The project will result in a range of new models and processes for providing health and care services to the increasing number of customers.


Draft date

19/08/2011