As people get older, it becomes more likely that they will need day-to-day help with activities such as washing and dressing, or help with household activities such as cleaning and cooking. This type of support (along with some types of medical care) is what is called long-term care.
Demand for long-term care is expected to rise, thanks in part to ageing populations and increasing prevalence of long-term conditions such as dementia.
The OECD has been at the forefront of analysis on long-term care since 2005, reviewing and providing best practices on several key areas:
- How can countries ensure that the elderly live a long and healthy life and that care needs are delayed?
- How can the quality of care be improved in long-term care and for people with dementia in particular?
- How is long-term care provided across countries and who are the workers?
- How can countries ensure a more efficient distribution of the costs of long-term care across public and private means?
- How can countries provide appropriate palliative care at the end of life?
Implementing long-term care reforms
The ELS Ageing and Long-term care team of the OECD and the DG REFORM of the European Commission are cooperating in providing technical support to countries that want to reform the long-term care systems.
Improving home care for the elderly in Croatia
The Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy of Croatia requested technical assistance from the European Commission and the OECD to support the reform process and develop non-institutional forms of elderly care, particularly in elderly person’s homes and in local communities.
The project assessed the demand of the elderly in need of care, the characteristics and care provided by informal carers as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the current home care benefit and service provision.
As part of the project, the OECD designed and carried out a survey and focus group discussions to gain a better understanding of the availability of formal and informal care provision across the country. The OECD also analysed best practices in EU countries to support informal carers and provided a recommendation report to implement home care reforms for the elderly.
The project ended on March 2021 and a dissemination event was organised on March 26, 2021 with key national stakeholders and experts.
Strengthening long-term care for the elderly in Lithuania
The Ministry of Health of Lithuania has requested technical assistance from the European Commission and the OECD to support the reform process on elderly care, particularly home-based and community-based care.
The ongoing project aims to analyse the current provision and funding mechanisms of long-term care services. The OECD is also reviewing best practices in EU countries and providing policy recommendations.
As part of the project, the OECD is carrying out a survey and focus group discussions, and also discussing pathways to reforms at key stakeholder consultations and during a workshop.
Data on long-term care
Access our latest data from OECD Health Statistics in the dataset Long-term care resources and utilisation:
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