The Vatican has called for a global policy shift towards home care and intergenerational community support for older people.
In a new report, ‘Old age: our future. The elderly after the pandemic’, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life makes the case for a rethink of how to care for people in their later years, post-pandemic.
It proposes the concept of the ‘healthcare continuum’ in which individuals can be taken care of by a system where the family is supported by new and innovative models of care.
These models include home assistance, ‘neighbourhood health personnel’, new models of family homes and cohabitation and other home care services to encourage people to remain at home.
The report states that current facilities, including care homes, which care for the elderly “meet a real need”, but there must be a “frank and serious debate” on the effectiveness and feasibility of “new reception models”.
The Vatican also calls for a policy pivot towards intergenerational community support.
“It is not good to detach children and young people from constant contact with their parents and grandparents,” it states.