Health policies and data

Long-term Care


The OECD Health Division examines challenges affecting LTC systems and services, focusing particularly on the elderly population. This page will provide you with all information on ongoing and past work on LTC - that is, care for people needing support in many facets of living over a prolonged period of time.

A Good Life in Old Age?
Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-term Care

A Good Life in Old Age? Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-Term Care
Released June 2013

As ageing societies are pushing a growing number of frail old people into needing care, delivering quality long-term care services – care that is safe, effective, and responsive to needs – has become a priority for governments. Yet much still remains to be done to enhance evidence-based measurement and improvement of quality of long-term care services across EU and OECD countries. This book offers evidence and examples of useful experiences to help policy makers, providers and experts measure and improve the quality of long-term care services.

The project was supported by the European Commission (DG Employment).


Help Wanted? Providing and Paying for Long-Term Care
Released May 2011

This book examines the challenges countries are facing with regard to providing and paying for long-term care. With populations ageing and the need for long-term care growing rapidly, this book looks at such issues as: future demographic trends, policies to support family carers, long-term care workers, financing arrangements, long-term care insurance, and getting better value for money in long-term care.

The project builds upon on-going LTC data work, the OECD Health Working Paper No.44 The Long-Term Care Workforce: Overview and Strategies to Adapt Supply to a Growing Demand and work on workforce shortages and migration.


Strengthening Data on Long-Term Care Systems

OECD Health Statistics 2016 collects data on long-term care expenditure, recipients of long-term care services and sources of funding for long-term care spending. Revisions to the definition and estimation methods of long-term care expenditure are a key component of the process of revision of the System of Health Accounts (SHA) manual which aims at improving the comparability of LTC expenditure data, as well as feasibility of the estimation methods. A report, Conceptual Framework and Methods for Analysis of Data Sources for Long-Term Care Expenditure, begins to refine the definition methodology to improve the availability and comparability of long-term care expenditure data.

logo_new_els Access the full dataset on Long-Term Care, available in the online database OECD Health Statistics 2016 (updated in October 2016).


The Ageing Unequally project will enable Member and partner countries to design sustainable policy approaches to better adapt to population ageing. It will provide a greater understanding of compounded inequalities over the life-cycle by analysing the links between poor health and poor labour market experience during active years and poor social outcomes among the elderly. The aim is to identify points throughout the life of a person where policy interventions can address these challenges effectively and efficiently rather than waiting for when people retire. As older women are often the most vulnerable among the elderly, gender differences will be examined throughout the Project.

The Project will analyse two mega-trends: population ageing and rising income inequality in Member and partner countries. It will then examine to what extent health improvements and rising life expectancy are associated with rising health inequalities within countries. This will be followed by an analysis of possible interactions between ageing and inequality beyond health, such as labour market and social policies, skills and migration. The main deliverable will be an Ageing Equally Action Plan at the end of 2016.

Health at a Glance 2015

The latest edition of Health at a Glance (released in November 2015) includes a chapter on Ageing and Long-term Care (Chapter 11). Health at a Glance, a flagship OECD publication, provides the latest comparable data on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries.

Healthy Ageing Policies

A review of current policies to prevent the onset of old-age disability, or so-called “healthy ageing policies” was released in February 2009 as OECD Health Working Paper No. 42. This paper identifies four different groups of policies: i) working longer and promoting social integration; ii) improving lifestyles; iii) adapting health care systems to the needs of the elderly; and iv) attacking underlying social/environmental factors affecting healthy ageing.


The OECD published Health Working Paper No 26 in 2006, which assesses disability trends among elderly people (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States).

Another study reviewed the implication of disability for individuals, the labour market and social policies. Disabling medical conditions are on the rise among people of working-age.

More information on a related project on mental health can be found at

LTC-related publications at the OECD


Contact us

Ms. Francesca Colombo (tel: +33 1 45 24 93 60 or