Health policies and data

Long-term Care for Older People



Long-term care is a cross-cutting policy issue that brings together a range of services for persons who are dependent on help with basic activities of daily living. When the cohorts of the baby-boom generation will reach 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 improve access to long-term care, improve quality of services and make care affordable? 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?

140 pages, 21 tables, 9 figures
ISBN: 9264008489
Publication date: July 2005


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, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, 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 analysed based on new data on cross-country differences. Special attention is given to experience with programmes 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. 

More information available on the OECD's work on Long-Term Care at


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