Demographic Impact on Future Needs for Long-Term Care: The Case of Germany
Ralf E. Ulrich, Institute for Population and Health Research, University of Bielefeld
Demographic aging and the growth of the oldest-old population will substantially influence the need for long-term care in developed countries. The paper discusses various estimates for Germany until 2030 and their implicit demographic assumptions. Germany's official population projection from the Federal Statistics Office has increased assumptions for future gains in life expectancy over the previous years, fuelling public fears of an upcoming crisis of old-age care. Yet the age-specific prevalences of health states leading to care are changing. Until now, Germany has been among the countries with relatively higher involvement of families in long-term care. This might not persist due to secular changes in family structures and living arrangements. The paper also deals also with Germany's care-insurance and existing proposals to reform it.