Trends in ageing and ageing-in-place and the future market for institutional care: scenarios and policy implications
In several OECD countries the percentage of elderly in long-term care institutions has been declining as a result of ageing-in-place. However, due to the rapid ageing of population in the next decades future demand for institutional care is likely to increase. In this paper we perform a scenario analysis to examine the potential impact of these two opposite trends on the demand for institutional elderly care in the Netherlands. We find that the demand for institutional care first declines as a result of the expected increase in the number of low-need elderly that age-in-place. This effect is strong at first but then peters out. After this first period the effect of the demographic trend takes over, resulting in an increase in demand for institutional care. We argue that the observed trends are likely to result in a growing mismatch between demand and supply of institutional care. Whereas the current stock of institutional care is primarily focussed on low-need (residential) care, future demand will increasingly consist of high-need (nursing home) care for people with cognitive as well as somatic disabilities. We discuss several policy options to reduce the expected mismatch between supply and demand for institutional care.