Care or Personal Assistance around the World Articles

Independent Living-rörelsen banade vägen

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  2012.  Independent Living-rörelsen banade vägen.
Swedish
Kapitel 2 ur boken: Perspektiv på personlig assistans, Brusén Peter, Flyckt Karin (red.), Gothia Förlag 2012 Adolf Ratzka Välviljans förtryck Socialpolitiken styrs vanligtvis inte av dem vars liv den påverkar, utan av politiker och tjänstemän utifrån politiska hänsynstaganden och en nödvändigtvis begränsad kännedom om andra människors livsvillkor. Det gäller framför allt oss personer med omfattande funktionsnedsättningar som för vår överlevnad är beroende av andra människors praktiska insatser i det dagliga livet, exempelvis med uppstigning, påklädning, toalettbesök, duschning. Ju större vårt beroende är, desto självklarare tar sig omgivningen rätten att ha åsikter om vad vi behöver och desto mindre har vi som berörs att säga till om när det gäller hur vi vill leva våra liv och vilka samhällsinsatser vi behöver. Som resultat ser vi ofta lösningar och tjänster som Resultaten av lösningarna gör oss mer beroende av andra istället för oberoende.

Working and parenting with personal assistance

Tillander, Erik.  2012.  Working and parenting with personal assistance.
English

Summary of legislation, interpretations and other developments as of August 2012

In sweden there is a law that defines the rights people with severe functional impairments have to various fully funded services and benefits, including personal assistance. The law also defines requirements for a  functional impairments to be considered severe. This Law is called "The Law about Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS)" and is the subject of regular review. If you are too old or not sufficiently impaired to qualify for LSS services then you may only be entitled to partially funded services according to another law.

Benefit fraud in relation to personal assistance in Sweden

Tillander, Erik.  2012.  Benefit fraud in relation to personal assistance in Sweden.
English

Summary of legal cases, statistics and media coverage as of November 2012

In early 2010, Halmstad District Court handed down three judgments and several people were sentenced to prison for benefit fraud. These cases involved people pretending to be disabled, as well as other types of crimes, such as tax evasion and fraudulent timesheets that also figured in the subsequent discussion. In 2011 about 20 assistance companies were investigated, and two more people were convicted in February 2012.http://assistanskoll.se/20120209-Dom-mot-agare-till-assistansforetag-i-Halland.html.

Eunice Ya-Yu Kao, Taiwan - "Those who can pay have migrant care workers as assistants"

Westberg, Kenneth.  2012.  Eunice Ya-Yu Kao, Taiwan - "Those who can pay have migrant care workers as assistants".
English
Institution, home care or migrant care workers are the options available for people with disabilities in Taiwan. Migrant care workers come from other Asian countries and work under difficult conditions. Since 2008, however, inspired by Japan, there is one user cooperative with about ten assistance users.

Personal Assistance empowers persons with disabilities and benefits the national economy

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  2012.  Personal Assistance empowers persons with disabilities and benefits the national economy.
English
Persons with the exactly the same disabilities can have completely different lives depending on where they live. In some countries there are policies and attitudes that allow us to develop and follow our interests, get education and work, meet friends, marry and have children. In other countries, people with disabilities may have to live with their parents or in institutions, with little contact with the outside world, with no or only simple work.

The Independent Living movement paved the way: Origins of personal assistance in Sweden

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  2012.  The Independent Living movement paved the way: Origins of personal assistance in Sweden. Perspectives on personal assistance.
English
Chapter 2 Perspectives on personal assistance, Brusén Peter, Flyckt Karin (ed.), Gothia Förlag 2012 Adolf Ratzka Benign oppression Social policy is rarely made by the people whose lives it affects. Rather, it is formulated based on political considerations by politicians and bureaucrats who, by necessity, have limited knowledge of the conditions of other people’s lives – especially regarding those of us with extensive disabilities who depend on other people to survive and require practical assistance with activities of daily living such as getting out of bed, dressing, personal hygiene and bathing. The greater our dependence, the more others assume they are entitled to have opinions about our needs and the less those of us affected have a say in how we want to live our lives and what social resources we need. As a result, solutions and services often make us more dependent on others rather than independent.

Personal Assistance and the Crisis: Now is the time to promote Direct Payments for Personal Assistance

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  2012.  Personal Assistance and the Crisis: Now is the time to promote Direct Payments for Personal Assistance.
English
Presentation for Congress of the European Spinal Cord Injury Federation, Lucignano, Italy 23–25 May 2012 Already before the current crisis people with disabilities fared worse than the general population as measured by most social indicators such as income, employment, housing etc. But now the gap is widening as recent official statistics, for example in Sweden, show.

Independent Living for People with Disabilities of All Ages

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  2011.  Independent Living for People with Disabilities of All Ages.
English
Given the increasing number of older persons relative to the working age population, record level taxes and baby boomers’ demands for self-determination and quality of life, which changes might the Scandinavian welfare model have to undergo in order to deliver long term care to all who need it? In Sweden, direct payments for personal assistance are paid to mainly younger persons with extensive disabilities. In terms of perceived quality and cost per hour of service, direct payments have been found to be more efficient than traditional local government services. But would this favorable experience hold for all persons in need of assistance with the activities of daily living – regardless of age, diagnosis and minimum needs? What would be such a policy’s cost and effects on the labor market? How could it be financed? Would it threaten younger disabled persons’ relative favorable present situation? Today’s Swedish policy of cash payments for the purchase of personal assistance services might be of interest as a long term care solution for tomorrow’s older persons.

Personal Assistance in Sweden

Westberg, Kenneth, Berg Susanne, Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  2012.  Personal Assistance in Sweden.
English

The Independent Living Institute (ILI, Sweden) Sweden has written this report on Personal Assistance in Sweden for the Expertise Centre Independent Living, Flanders, Belgium.We gave ILI a list containing questions and topics on hot issues in Flanders. What is the legal framework? How does the assessment take place? What is the assistant's statute? What are the experiences with private enterprises? In this report, Kenneth Westberg answers these questions. He has written this report under the guidance of PhD. Adolf Ratzka.PDF

Bente Skansgård, ULOBA, Norway: “Municipal procurement threatens assistance users’ self-determination”

Westberg, Kenneth.  2011.  Bente Skansgård, ULOBA, Norway: “Municipal procurement threatens assistance users’ self-determination”.
English
Municipal contracts should be based on the Norwegian Standard and the basic philosophy of user-controlled personal assistance, with the user as supervisor and the freedom to use assistance hours at any time. The upcoming legislation for user-controlled personal assistance (Brukerstyrt personlig assistanse, BPA) should cover everyone regardless of number of hours needed or diagnosis. These are the demands of Bente Skansgård at ULOBA, Norway’s largest assistance cooperative.

Norway: Personal Assistance heading for legislation?

Westberg, Kenneth.  2011.  Norway: Personal Assistance heading for legislation?
English
Interview with Jan Andersen, Lillehammar University College, Norway on November 17, 2011 Norway is discussing whether or not to pass legislation about user-controlled personal assistance. Researcher Jan Andersen at Lillehammer University College, who has conducted research on user-controlled personal assistance since its inception, sees problems because legislation would only apply to users with more than 20 hours/week. He also comments on the changing assistance market, with the entrance of private companies and municipalities contracting out assistance to keep costs down.

Norway: “The upcoming legislation will be a disappointment”

Westberg, Kenneth.  2011.  Norway: “The upcoming legislation will be a disappointment”.
English
In Norway, JAG Assistanse has four users to date, but after gaining approval as a BPA provider (Brukerstyrt Personlig Assistanse or user-controlled personal assistance) from 15 municipalities, operations manager Sidsel Maxwell Grasli expects strong growth. At the same time, she fears that JAG’s target group will be let down by the upcoming Norwegian legislation for user-controlled personal assistance.

Switzerland introducing direct payments for personal assistance

Ladstätter, Martin.  2011.  Switzerland introducing direct payments for personal assistance.
English
Switzerland is on the brink of a breakthrough: it will offer nationwide direct payments for personal assistance beginning in January 2012. Over the next few years, 3,000 people with disabilities are expected to receive this assistance benefit.

Swedish EU parliamentarians urge more personal assistance in Europe

[Anonymous].  2011.  Swedish EU parliamentarians urge more personal assistance in Europe. GP.
English

The October 1  2011 article Dismantle Europe's inhumane institutions in the daily newspaper Göteborgsposten urges European countries to provide people with disabilities with personal assistance and assistive devices, rather than relegating them to institutions.

According to the Swedish Members of the European Parliament at least 1.2 million people live in institutions in the EU and Turkey, which they consider to be contrary to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Latvia: “The view of people with disabilities has improved”

Westberg, Kenneth.  2010.  Latvia: “The view of people with disabilities has improved”.
English
In Latvia people with disabilities who do not have their own financial means or cannot get help from relatives usually live in an institution. A small subsidy is available to pay a personal assistant, but it does not go very far. Irina Parhomenko works at APEIRONS, which is dedicated to ensuring that personal assistance legislation becomes reality.

Norway: “Government breaks its promise of legislation for personal assistance”

Westberg, Kenneth.  2011.  Norway: “Government breaks its promise of legislation for personal assistance”.
English
Interview with Bente Skansgård, ULOBA on January 18, 2011. User-controlled personal assistance was implemented in Norway in 2000. The municipality has the monopoly in granting the intervention as required and has a strong influence on how assistance is organized—for example, by determining who can employ the assistants.

Municipalities as personal assistance providers in Sweden

Erdtman, Emil.  2010.  Municipalities as personal assistance providers in Sweden.
English

Summary of legislation, court interpretations and reports as of October 2010

Individuals granted personal assistance under the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS) may choose whether their local municipality, a private company or cooperative will provide the assistance.

In Flanders all personal care assistants are employed by the people they assist.

Westberg, Kenneth.  2010.  In Flanders all personal care assistants are employed by the people they assist..
English
In Flanders all personal care assistants are employed by the people they assist. 5500 people are queuing to get personal assistance in the Belgian region of Flanders. A little less than 1800 have so far been granted personal budgets to employ their own assistants. There are organizations that provide administrative support and advice for those that want it.

Spain - Assistance - available in Spain by law, but not in reality

Erdtman, Emil.  2010.  Spain - Assistance - available in Spain by law, but not in reality.
English
Spain has had a law declaring personal assistance to be a right since 2006, but the law is not applied in practice. Instead there are various pilot projects. Catalonia has two such projects, one at the regional level and one operated by the Independent Living movement in the city of Barcelona.

Tough struggle for personal assistance in Iceland

Westberg, Kenneth.  2010.  Tough struggle for personal assistance in Iceland.
English
Only about fifteen people receive personal assistance payments in Iceland, but new legislation is under discussion and interest is rising. According to representatives of the newly formed NPA Center cooperative, however, there is resistance within the disability movement. In addition, the personal assistance agreements may be too miserly because of the economic crisis. Today special housing solutions dominate the scene with common personnel groups, where according to Embla Agustsdottir from NPA Center, it is hard to live an independent life.

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