Future demand for formal long-term care in Sweden
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Ageing population will have a significant effect on demand for human resources in health care and social care for the older people. Here we are presenting, using different scenarios, how projected demographic development may influence the demand for formal long-term care (LTC) for the people older than 65 years in Sweden 2000–2030. Our method uses information on utilisation of current services per gender and age group, demographic projections of number of older people per gender and age group and assumptions on health status changes per gender and age group. Our assumptions on health status changes were based on estimates from Swedish National Survey of Living Conditions, covering 32,502 observations during the period 1975–1999. The assumption that trends in severe ill-health in Sweden between 1975 and 1999 will continue (meaning expected improvements in age/gender-specific health and functional ability among the older people) results in the projected increase in the demand by year 2030 being almost halved, compared with an estimate that is based on unchanged age/gender-specific health and functional ability. The assessment of future demand for LTC for the people older than 65 years should involve extrapolations based on expected changes in health status, as well as the question how decreasing mortality incorporated into population forecasts is to be associated with future trends on severe morbidity/disability.