Long-Term Care for Older People

Release Date: August 1, 2005

When the baby-boom generation reaches the oldest age groups over the next three decades, demand for long-term care will rise steeply. How do governments in OECD countries respond to this growing demand? What has been done to increase access to long-term care and to improve the quality and affordability of services? Are there examples of successful strategies to improve the mix of services and policies to enable a larger number of older persons to stay in their homes? And has this helped contain the costs of caring for the elderly?

This study reports on the latest trends in long-term care policies in nineteen OECD countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It studies lessons learned from countries that undertook major reforms over the past decade. Trends in expenditure, financing, and the number of care recipients are analyzed based on new data on cross-country differences. Special attention is given to experience with programs that provide consumers of services with a choice of care options, including cash to family caregivers. Concise country profiles of long-term care systems and an overview on demography and living situations of older persons make this complex policy field more accessible.