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Sizing Up the Challenge Ahead: Future Demographic Trends and Long‐term Care Costs

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Abstract:

Pressures on long‐term care (LTC) systems are expected to grow in the future, for at least four reasons. First, although the speed at which populations are ageing varies considerably across countries, and despite uncertainties about future trends in disability among the population, demographic transformations will increase demand for LTC services in all societies. Second, changing societal models ‐ such as declining family size, changes in residential patterns of people with disabilities and rising female participation in the formal labour market ‐ are likely to contribute to a decline in the availability of family carers, leading to an increase in the need for paid care. Third, as societies become wealthier, individuals demand better quality and more responsive social‐care systems. People want care systems that are patient‐oriented and that can supply well co‐ordinated care services. Fourth, technological change enhances possibilities for long‐term care services at home but may require a different organisation of care. These factors will create upward pressure on the demand for long‐term care services. They will raise pressure for improving the provision of care services and their performance, and, therefore, their cost. This chapter presents demographic forecasts for OECD countries, and projections on family carers in selected OECD countries and long‐term care costs.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

oecd/16080289/2011/00002011/00000005/8111031ec007
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