Home care for older people: the experience of ASEAN countries

Home care for older people: the experience of ASEAN countries

Without adequate universal pension schemes and healthcare in place to ensure a basic standard of living, older people’s families and communities will find it difficult to comprehensively meet the needs of older people. The aim of this paper is to share the knowledge and experience of volunteer-based home care gained through the ROK-ASEAN home care project in order to facilitate the expansion of the approach in ASEAN and beyond.

The paper clarifies that the project was a three-phase programme supporting all ten ASEAN countries in developing and adapting the volunteer-based home care model and in sharing and learning from each other. The project developed a model of volunteer-based home care that has been adopted in the majority of ASEAN countries. The model focuses on utilisation of unpaid community volunteers to assist older people. It uses collaboration between implementing NGOs, government ministries, community volunteers, families and older people to provide basic home care help to older people in need.

Concerning the project’s outcome, volunteers provided cost effective services, community relationships were strengthened, and the capacity of local partner organisations for conducting development projects was enhanced.

Policy implications include:

  • governments can use their leverages to make guidelines, set policies, provide funding and conduct monitoring and evaluation for such projects
  • upon successful completion of a pilot project, governments can facilitate the expansion of home care nationally by engaging additional NGOs for implementation

Still, the author notes that local governments still need sensitisation in order to better understand and implement volunteer-based home care across communities.