Social services are the responsibility of the provinces.
In the agreement between the Federal Government and the Länder (provinces) in accordance with Art. 15a of the Federal Constitution on joint measures for people in need of care, the provinces have undertaken to ensure that social services are offered on a decentralised and nationwide basis.
A case and care management approach is applied here. This means that social services are coordinated with clients’ wishes.
In addition, the support structures are coordinated with other organisations too. The goal is to ensure quality in training and in practice.
The Infoservice of the Ministry of Social Affairs offers a database of social services. An extensive collection of offers of mobile social services can be found there.
Applications can be made to your local authority office (Gemeindeamt), the District Commission (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or in cities the Magistrat, plus in Vienna the Sozialzentrum or the Fonds Soziales Wien.
Social services include:
- Mobile and outpatient support and nursing services
- Inpatient support and care services
- Day care
- Short-term care in inpatient settings
- Alternative housing forms
Mobile and outpatient social services can facilitate the provision of care in the environment which the patient is accustomed to when the person in need of care would otherwise no longer be able to stay at home, and can relieve the burden on caregiving relatives. Mobile and outpatient support and care services include home helps, nursing care at home or meals on wheels.
For details see residential homes for the elderly and nursing homes
Day care is semi-inpatient care of people in need of care during the day or night once or several times a week. Day care with its structured daily routine and the range of activating and therapeutic programmes predominantly has the objective of enabling people who need care to live a relatively independent life in spite of various limitations. Semi-inpatient services are offered, for example, by geriatric day centres.
The services include a picking-up and taking home service, meals, needs-oriented care and – depending on needs and interests – therapies, excursions, events and advice for caregiving relatives.
In order to relieve the burden on family members who provide care and support at home, care can be provided in an inpatient facility (e.g. a nursing home) for the duration of a temporary absence due to a holiday, for example.
Returning home after a period in a care home is not always possible. As an alternative to staying in a nursing home, a number of provinces have established shared accommodation for senior citizens.
With the support of mobile social services and the assistance of social workers, former nursing home patients are enabled to live autonomous lives again.