2015 | 2(10)/2015 Social Policy and Models of Services for the Elderly International Perspective | 13-24
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Towards creating a comprehensive care system for elders: an overview of long-term systems across the developed countries

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As a result of two trends: the increase in average life expectancy and the decline in the birthrate, population aging in many developed countries has been progressing rapidly. As the baby boomer generation (cohorts born between 1946 and 1964) ages, considerable attention has to be given to the increased demand for aff ordable and effi cient long-term care (LTC). Th e term LTC encompasses a broad range of primarily low-tech services provided by paid professionals and unpaid family members to individuals with chronic health conditions or disabilities who need help with daily activities of living (e.g. bathing, meal preparation, cleaning). Th is article aims to provide a brief overview of the long-term care systems in diff erent developed countries. Considering that current demographic trends, the aging population, and the number of people aff ected by chronic health conditions is increasing at an alarming rate, it is not surprising that there is a growing interest in developing interventions and creating policies that could lower the cost of providing long-term care and at the same time ensuring that all individuals have an access to health care. Some countries dedicated to introduce asocial long-term care insurance as a way of ensuring aff ordable access to long-term care. In this paper we review long-term care systems in developed countries such as Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, the United States, Sweden, Poland, and Germany. Although achieving superior outcomes such as longer life expectancy and decreased mortality rates at a relatively low cost is diffi cult, we suggested a few solutions on how to improve long-term care.
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