Care spending for seniors to double by 2050: OECD

09:39, May 19, 2011      

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Spending on long-term care for senior citizens is set to double in OECD countries by 2050 and government support is urgently needed, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says.

Long-term care is the assistance for people needing support in many facets of living over an extended period of time, including bathing, dressing, and getting in and out of bed. It would be mostly for seniors lacking the independent ability to tackle their daily lives, the Paris-based organization said in a report published Wednesday.

The share of the population over 80 years old in OECD countries will reach nearly one in 10 by 2050, up sharply from one in 25 in 2010, the report said, enumerating Japan's percentage to reach 17 percent and Germany's to 15 percent by 2050.

Given the context, the advanced countries' advisory agency said the spending on long-term care to bulge accordingly. The spending now accounts for 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on average across the OECD, while Sweden and the Netherlands top the ranking with spending at 3.5 percent and 3.6 percent of GDP respectively.

"With costs rising fast, countries must get better value for money from their spending on long-term care," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said, urging governments to make their long-term care policies more affordable and better for family careers and professionals.

Measures should also include taking migrants as a substantial part of long-term care workers to meed future demand, and establishing financially sustainable systems by the government, such as caring institutions, according to the organization.

Source: Xinhua
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