Long-term care (LTC), also defined as long-term care services, and supports (LTCSS), refers to the ‘help needed to cope, and sometimes to survive, when physical and cognitive disabilities impair the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), such as eating, bathing, dressing, using toilet and walking’ (Grawoski, 2014). That is, it refers to services and supports provided to people with a reduced degree of functional capacity who need support in a residential setting or at home with their activities of daily living.
To date, we do not have a comprehensive study providing evidence of the rise in demand for long-term care worldwide, nor a framework to understand the different arrangements to finance long-term care, nor the reforms that are feasible in different countries according to their levels of unmet needs and economic development.
This report examines the financing of long-term care globally, describing the challenges of long-term care funding in high as well as low- and middle-income countries. We clarify what we mean by long-term care coverage, and how it varies at different levels of economic development, the role of informal care in satisfying care needs, and specifically the extent to which there is substitution between formal and informal care. Finally, we describe the main determinants of the demand for long term care (LTC) services and supports.