News from Project A04

Prof Dr Heinz Rothgang
Prof Dr Heinz Rothgang
Selected scientists from ten EU countries met with representatives of the Commission, Eurostat, the OED and European NGOs to discuss issues of access, quality assurance and sustainability of care provision systems.

CRC 1342 member Heinz Rothgang took part in the EU Commission's workshop on "Mutual Learing" in the field of social security systems for long-term care on 7 and 8 March. Selected scientists from ten EU countries discussed with representatives of the Commission, Eurostat, the OED and European NGOs on questions of access, quality assurance and sustainability of long-term care provision systems. They also discussed the possibility of improving comparative reporting on these issues at EU level. Heinz Rothgang presented in particular the perspective of Germany's long-term care insurance.

"Social security systems for the need for long-term care are the most recent branch of social security in the European Union. At the same time, they are the area in which the Member States' social security systems differ most," says Rothgang. "This makes it all the more important to initiate mutual learning processes between the Member States".

There are now many data and studies on social security systems for long-term care dependency, says Rothgang. However, international comparison is difficult: "Although it is possible to formulate a common, rather abstract definition of the need for long-term care, national definitions must be used for comparative figures. However, these definitions are not easily comparable, so that it is already difficult to compare the number of people in need of long-term care". According to Rothgang, one solution would be a vignette study. "This would involve presenting well-described cases to those responsible at national level and requiring them to indicate what benefits the described person receives in their country". Together with the national data, a comparable picture would emerge.

Following the intensified discussion at European level in recent years of indicators of the quality of outcomes, Rothgang added that it was now clear "that we cannot do without indicators of structural and process quality either".


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Prof Dr Heinz Rothgang
Prof Dr Heinz Rothgang
Technological solutions and devices for long-term care are being developed worldwide. In an interview with the TV station Radio Bremen, CRC member Heinz Rothgang has evaluated whether robots and IT are suitable for coping with the long-term care crisis.

"The use of robots and IT in long-term care is certainly part of the future, but it is not the only solution to the long-term care crisis," said Heinz Rothgang, director of projects A04 and B07, in the programme "buten und binnen" on Radio Bremen. "Technology can support but not replace people. Because care means communication and human affection". Technology cannot offer this. It can support and reduce the burden on caregivers, however, through sensor technology, remote monitoring and the like.

Rothgang is not concerned that humanity will suffer as soon as robots and IT are used in care. He rather has doubts that meaningful technical solutions will find their way into long-term care at all, as the use of technology in this area is generally looked upon with skepticism.

Heinz Rothgang and his staff at Socium are therefore investigating what wishes and needs for technical assistance really exist among people in need of long-term care as well as among care-givers. The aim is to ensure that technical solutions are developed that are actually applied effectively.

In "buten und binnen", Rothgang also emphasised that the attractiveness of the nursing profession must be increased considering the long-term care crisis, so that more people want to work in this field.

The entire interview with Heinz Rothgang (in German only): "buten und binnen" from 14.02.2019


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Sigrid Lupieri
Sigrid Lupieri
Lupieri is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and will stay in Bremen for three months, collaborating with project A04.

Thanks to the generous support of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grant, we are delighted to be hosting Sigrid Lupieri at the CRC and SOCIUM as a guest researcher for the period of 01 September to 30 November 2018. As a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, her research analyses the factors influencing the allocation of health care resources to older Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Ms. Lupieri's previous experience includes working at UNESCO and UNDP in New Delhi and New York, as well as several years as a journalist in Armenia, Georgia, Germany and the U.S. She holds master’s degrees in journalism (Northwestern University) and modern European history (University of Cambridge), and a BA in foreign languages and literatures from the University of Udine, Italy. During her stay at our center, Ms. Lupieri will be working in close collaboration with the A04 project.


Contact:
Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58561
E-Mail: frisina@uni-bremen.de

Alexaner Polte
Alexaner Polte
Of course there is pressure at the university too, says Alexander Polte. In this interview he explains why scientific work nevertheless is relaxing for him and why he had lived in an old people's home in his early 20s.

 

When you were a little boy, what was your first dream career?
That changed frequently because I had many interests: sometimes I wanted to become an architect, sometimes a doctor, then something completely different.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a scientist?
In the second half of my studies. Before that everything was still a bit vague and I just wanted to graduate first.

What did you study?
Sociology and psychology at the TU Dresden. During my studies I worked as a student trainee in software testing. I realised quickly that I wanted to do network analysis. So I continuously specialised in this field and wrote my diploma thesis using this method. During my thesis I noticed that I like scientific work most and that I would like to do a PhD.

What is it that you like about scientific work?
The Openness. You are approaching your research with an open mind and try to avoid possible sources of error. This is both exciting and relaxing, because you don't have to force a result, as it may happen in the private sector. At the university you feel pressure too, to publish as much as possible and to raise third-party funding, but in the end it is our task to keep up this open minded approach to research.

And why didn't you become a natural scientist?
Because I'm interested in how society works. In social sciences, we are constantly confronted with chaos because the field is so complex. I think that is exciting.

To understand the chaos?
Exactly. Or at least to develop a feeling for it. In addition, at first I had no great need to devote myself to mathematics. But what changed during my studies.

Before your studies you were in Slovakia for a voluntary social year. Why did you choose Slovakia? Did you speak Slavic back then?
No, I couldn't. I've never been to Slovakia before. I had applied for a European Voluntary Service and a volunteer association offered me: Why don't you go to Slovakia? You can teach there. And so I went to Lipany in Slovakia.

What did you teach there?
Mostly German and sometimes English. I have taught at two elementary schools and a grammar school, where I mainly gave conversation classes.

Do you still have private or professional connections to Slovakia?
I still have friends there; I still have contact with old colleagues. My scientific work, that deals with health and long-term care systems, is hardly connected to Slovakia. Besides the fun fact, that I lived in a Slovak old people's home.

How did this happen?
The organisation that managed my European volunteer job also provides positions in an old people's home. In the old people’s home there are rooma for the volunteers. That's how I ended up there.

What was your impression of Slovak old people's homes?
The nurses were overworked, they almost walked on their gums: too much work for too few employees. Basically, the same situation as in Germany. But still the atmosphere is very warm and friendly. And the food is good!

Can you outline your role in the SFB?
We investigate the dynamics of health systems and long-term care systems. My main focus is to assess the international interdependencies and how they affect the types of health or long-term care systems. There can be many different interdependencies: economic, political and cultural. This network component will be my research area. It is an interdisciplinary project, which we hope will open up many opportunities for cooperation with the other projects involved in the CRC.

Dear Alexander, thank you very much and good luck with your research!


Contact:
Alexander Polte
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-57063
E-Mail: alexander.polte@uni-bremen.de