Building a more skilled workforce, redesigning services and implementing new technology may ultimately bring greater efficiency, but such actions also require a level of investment beyond the means of many countries. Growing demand only adds to the shortfall and there has been a reluctance by politicians and policymakers to engage with this issue, especially in the wake of a continued recession.
Michael Plazek, Research Associate, Public Governance Institute, Germany
Governments should think about how they can encourage working age citizens to save more for retirement and take out specific long term care insurance policies. Older people would also benefit from a wider range of equity release schemes to realize the value of their properties.
The burden of paying for future long term care inevitably falls on future generations. Younger people may be unwilling to make such a commitment and resent the need to support the elderly when times are tough enough already. In a bid to cut costs, a number of countries are rebalancing their long term care systems by relying less upon institutional care and more on home and community care. The table on the preceding page looks at some of these initiatives and there are further examples in “Appendix 1: Overview of long term systems for the elderly and their future direction”.
Dr. Clive Bowman, Medical Director, Bupa Care Services, UK