2018 Conference Presentation
Background: Lithuanian society is aging the fastest in the European Union. In addition to that, due to low birth rates and negative net migration its population is fast declining. Thus according to the findings of a national public opinion survey, aging will constitute the number one threat to public wellbeing in the coming decade. This in turn calls for an urgent need to take measures to guarantee the quality of life of older persons in need of care and ensure effective functioning of sustainable long term care (LTC) services, which are still predominantly provided informally, i.e. by family members, and delivery of health and social care services remains unintegrated.
The success and effectiveness of LTC organization and delivery by and large depend on key stakeholder engagement and collaboration, which are still considerably lacking in practice. These issues have also been given scant research attention, which to date has mainly focused on the interaction between health and social security institutions. The later undoubtedly play a critical role in LTC delivery; however, the engagement of other key stakeholder groups (expert communities, policy decision makers and implementers, not-for-profit organizations, etc.) is no less salient and the understanding of their engagement and collaboration calls for further research.
Objectives: This paper aims at exploring the current status of major stakeholder collaboration and engagement in LTC organization and delivery in Lithuania as well as identifying possibilities for synergies in the process and key barriers hampering this collaboration. More specifically, building our research on stakeholder management and social capital theories and the Ability-Motivation-Opportunity framework (AOM), we study stakeholder engagement and collaboration through their abilities, motivation and opportunities for engaging and cooperating in LTC organization and delivery, their trust of each other and perceived relevance of external and internal factors related to successful stakeholder collaboration.
Methods: The empirical data is collected through an Internet survey of a purposive sample of key LTC stakeholder representatives in Lithuania, i.e. the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, the Ministry of Health, municipalities and municipal organizations, the Parliament, administrative and medical staff of public and private LTC residential homes, not-for-profit organizations, and expert communities).
Results: Our preliminary research findings show that currently stakeholder collaboration in LTC delivery in Lithuania is rather limited, especially in provinces (outside the capital city and other bigger towns). Even though the stakeholders (our respondents) especially acknowledge the social value of such eventual collaboration, they recognize that legal and structural barriers, overlap and/or absence of certain LTC services in organizational designs, deficiencies of financial and human resources and their management strategies, etc. impede its realization/ implementation in everyday practice.