Health policies and data

Long-Term Care for Older People: OECD study (2001-2004)


A study on Long-term Care for Older People was released in 2005. The study is the result of work carried out by OECD between 2001 and 2004, as part of the OECD Health Project . For information on new OECD work on long-term care, visit  


The 2001-2004 OECD Study on Long-term Care for Older People

Study objectives

The study set out differences in long-term care expenditures and services and evaluated recent policy developments in 19 OECD countries. Among the main aims of the study were:

  • Develop and present new data on national expenditures on long-term care services, to supplement existing OECD data on national expenditures on acute health care.
  • Set out trends in receipt of long-term care services, whether provided in a care institution or in the user’s own home.
  • Evaluate recent developments in improving the “continuum of care” of recipients of services and their families.
  • Consider the aims and outcomes of recent initiatives in a number of countries to improve consumer-direction and choice in home-based long-term care.
  • Consider strategies adopted by OECD countries to monitor and improve the quality of long-term care services.
  • Examine recent reforms in the financing of long-term care and the impact of these reforms on users and services.
  • Consider demographic and social trends that will impact on future demand and supply of long-term care.

The main policy questions addressed included:

  • How successfully are OECD health and social care systems working together to provide a seamless approach to services for users and their families? Which approaches have worked best and what remains to be done?
  • Can users of long-term care services take more control of the services they receive? Which initiatives to enhance consumer-direction and choice have been most successful and what are the limitations on consumer-direction?
  • How can quality of care be improved year on year? What policies have been used and which are most successful?
  • How should the costs of long-term care be shared between public and private means? Is it possible to develop better protection against the most catastrophic costs while keeping overall public costs sustainable into future years? 

Relevant OECD documentation

OECD and national websites on related topics

Some related national sites












New Zealand






United Kingdom

United States


Mrs Francesca Colombo ([email protected])


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