Extension of social security long - term care protection for older persons: a review of coverage deficits in 46 countries

Extension of social security long - term care protection for older persons: a review of coverage deficits in 46 countries

Due to the global demographic ageing, all countries are challenged by growing long-term care (LTC) needs for older persons. However, these needs are largely ignored and range very low on the policy agendas of most countries.

The neglect of LTC needs is also reflected in the widespread lack of national, regional and global data on coverage and access to related benefits and services. As a result, the impacts of LTC deficits experienced by older persons cannot be evaluated and remain hidden. Further, in the absence of such information, policy makers cannot identify priority areas for political interventions and prepare for the growing LTC demand of older persons in ageing societies.

Against this background, this paper has developed for the first time global estimates on LTC protection of persons aged 65 and over. This study presents these estimates. It is following up on discussions held during the International Labour Conference in 2014 and the ILO Governing Body focusing on demographic change and the care economy.

The data reveal huge gaps in coverage and access to LTC benefits. In fact, globally in most countries no form of public support for LTC exists at all and only very few countries have decided to provide social protection for older people in need of LTC.

The study highlights the need to:

  • guarantee LTC for older persons as an own right in social security for all
  • develop solidarity in financing LTC for older persons
  • increase the availability and affordability of public services and better balance public, community, private and family care
  • ensure workers’ rights for care givers, both formal and informal LTC workers
  • improve the gender balance and ensure public support for family members providing care to older relatives including paid leave for care responsibilities

The paper includes a Snapshot on LTC protection for persons aged 65 and over in selected countries:

  • Africa: Ghana and South Africa

  • Americas: Argentina, Brazil and Chile

  • Asia: China, India, Japan and Thailand

  • Europe: Poland and the Russian Federation


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