Project A2.1:

Nursing care in disadvantaged regions – structures and services

Project Leader:
Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Gerlinger

Associate Researcher:
Janina Kutzner

Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MIWF)

Time Scale:
01.12.2012 to 31.12.2016

This project analyzes the structures and services of long-term care in selected rural regions of North Rhine-Westphalia. This includes inpatient and outpatient nursing care institutions, hybrid forms like short-term care and day care as well as alternative housing types and counselling services.
The project aims pointing out challenges and providing guidelines, in order to ensure long-term care in rural areas. This should lead to guidelines for new concepts to ensure long-term care in rural regions, also in the future.

Background and Objectives:
The growing need for care will particularly affect rural areas. Due to demographic, economic, and societal change, it is to be supposed that the provision of (professional and informal) long-term care in these regions is particularly difficult. Presumably, this problem will increase in the decades ahead. Currently there is little knowledge of how long-term care in rural regions is organized and how it can be maintained or improved in the face of future challenges.
The project should show the current situation of long-term care in selected regions of North Rhine-Westphalia and identify challenges and methods of resolution for the further development of the services and structures in rural regions.

The regions to be investigated will be selected by using demographic and economic indicators. The given structures and services of care will be identified and mapped by analyzing secondary data (provided by the statistical office of North Rhine-Westphalia, social health insurance organizations, local authorities etc.).
Based on these data, qualitative interviews and focus groups with experts, representing providers, counseling institutions and local authorities will be carried out in order to assess the supply of, and demand for, care (quality, access, met and unmet needs etc.) and discuss means for improvement.