The Pillar affirms for the first time at Union level the right to long-term care services for persons who are reliant on care. It calls for services of quality which would help frail or dependent people maintain their health and functional status for as long as possible and improve their autonomy. Furthermore, the Pillar requires care services to be affordable since formal care services can have significant financial costs, leaving many persons who are reliant on care with unmet needs. While the Charter of Fundamental Rights sets out that older people should have the right to live in dignity and independence, the affordability, adequacy and quality of the services provided are central for the application of this right.
The Pillar privileges home-care (provided at the home of a person in need of care) and community-based services (range of care services of a non-institutional character) and therefore goes a step further than the Commission 2008 Recommendation on active inclusion. Developing community-based services helps persons with long-term care needs and with disabilities to live independently and to be included in the community.(132) This generally respects the preferences of persons in need of care to maintain independent living for as long as possible.