INNOVATIONS IN SOCIAL CARE SERVICES IN THE CONTEXT OF AGING POPULATION TRENDS

Joanna Ejdys

Abstract


Purpose.

Demographic trends regarding the issue of aging underscore the fact that both current situations and future trends directly concerns all of us. Aging is the reality for the future world. The pace at which demographic transition develops varies among countries and regions of the world, but most of the developed and developing countries will be challenged by increasing numbers of dependent individuals.

By 2030 population, older than 65-years old is expected to reach at least 670 000, possible 4 million[1].  This population requires  specializes health and social care and community support. Traditionally, long-term care (LTC) facilities, in the form of institutions,  had played the central role livelihood of this population whose life expectancy had been shorter   than that of the general population.  The main aim of this article is to present the trends and areas of development of innovative solutions in the sector of services related to social welfare in the context of an aging population.

Methodology. For the purpose of the article the following research methods were used:  literature review and quantitative research. The literature review allowed to diagnose the main trends of changes relating to the needs and expectations of older people in the field of social care. Quantitative research was carried out on a sample of 60 Polish social care institutions. The aim of the research was to investigate the extent to which the strategic orientation (marketing, learning orientation and technological orientation), declared by the organizations, determines organizational innovation.

Results. The conducted research of literature confirmed the changing needs of an aging population in respect of social care, and the results of quantitative research have confirmed the growing role of the consumer orientation (which is part of a marketing orientation) in the process of creating the innovativeness of an social care services.

The theoretical contribution. The conducted literature and quantitative research constitute a complementation of the research presented in the literature, the main aim of which is searching for the relationship between strategic orientation and innovativeness of the companies. Research directed exclusively at the social care service sector are examples of application research.

Practical implications (if applicable). Results of the research can be the foundation for construction of strategies of development by the organizations providing services in the field of social welfare, focused on improving innovation and competitiveness.

Keywords: social care services, innovativeness, strategic orientation

Paper type: Research paper


[1] N.-H. Kim, G. El Hoyek, D. Chau, Long-Term Care of the Aging Population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Clinics in Geriatric Medicine  27 (2011),  291–300


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