Reforms of the public sector, conducted in the spirit of NPM since the 1990s, are frequently studied by Western and Eastern scholars. The research shows national variations in how the NPM idea was translated and adapted into a country’s context and regulations. Care for the elderly is an interesting example of reforms conducted in the spirit of NPM, because it relates to welfare and health care and to the competences of provincial and local authorities in most European countries.
This paper addresses the following questions: What do we know about the reforms conducted in the spirit of NPM and its practical implication within the field of care for the elderly during 1990 - 2010? What kind of knowledge about care for the elderly is still missing and should be developed in the future ? Th is paper conducts comparative research on what is known about the effects of the Swedish and the Polish reforms regarding care for the elderly. It argues that most literature points to negative effects, but also to the fact that there are still gaps in our knowledge about the effects of reforms concerning elderly care, especially regarding its organization. Hence, despite all the research done, we do not know what kind of social and health-care services for seniors represent the best practices for the future.