On 8th of May, 2020 Jolita Junevičienė defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “Links between informal and formal home care for the elderly: social policies and caregivers’ views”. The dissertation was defended in the public virtual meeting of the Commitee of Sociology.

The doctoral dissertation was carried out at the Lithuanian Social Research Centre in 2015 – 2019 in accordance with the right granted to Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian Social Research Centre and Vytautas Magnus University (2019 February 22, order No. V – 160).

Scientific supervisor:
Chief researcher dr. Laimutė Žalimienė (Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Social Sciences, Sociology, S 005).

Dissertation was defended at the Commitee of Sociology of Vytatutas Magnus University, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuanian Social Research Centre.

Chairman:
Chief researcher dr. Sarmitė Mikulionienė (Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Social Sciences, Sociology, S 005).

Members:

  • Senior researcher dr. Monika Frėjutė-Rakauskienė (Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Social Sciences, Sociology, S 005);
  • Assoc. prof. dr. Violeta Gevorgianienė (Vilnius University, Social Sciences, Education, S 008);
  • Assoc. prof. dr. Rasa Naujanienė (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Sociology, S 005);
  • Assoc. prof. dr. Aivita Putniņa (University of Latvia, Social Sciences, Sociology, S 005).

Annotation

In the context of demographic, social and economic challenges facing the home eldercare sector in the 21st century, links between informal and formal care become an increasingly pressing issue. The dissertation aims at revealing the links between informal and formal home care for the elderly, defined in the paper as the distribution of responsibilities for satisfying the needs of the care recipient and of care activities between the informal and formal care sectors, that are shaped by social policy measures and caregiver experiences. A combination of theoretical approaches (institutional approach, concept of familialism and feminist care ethics) used in the dissertation allows the author to look at and compare the links between informal and formal care from three perspectives – social policy-makers, informal caregivers and formal care providers, while concurrently combining macro and micro factors. The empirical study of the dissertation is based on a secondary analysis of quantitative data, semi-structured interviews with carers for elderly people, and legislation analysis. The dissertation shows that putting into practice of social policy measures entrenched in Lithuanian legislation, as assessed using criteria such as coverage, accessibility, level of funding, structure and change of the measures, shapes the care sector towards familialism and even creates preconditions for implicit familialism where the family is presumed to be the primary care provider without any care alternatives. However, the implementation of de-familialising social policies in practice is rather sluggish. The dissertation also reveals that informal caregivers support the links between informal and formal care that are specific to the type of supported familialism, whereas formal caregivers support the links characteristic to the types of supported and implicit familialism. The results of the study contribute to the theoretical clarification of the links between formal and informal care, to the operationalisation of the concept of familialism by expanding the list of indicators to assess the types of familialism dominant in the eldercare sector and to the directing of social policy towards a more effective balance between informal and formal care.