Skip to main content

Prevalence of dementia in nursing home and community-dwelling older adults in Germany



We compared the prevalence of dementia in nursing home residents and community-dwelling older adults .


Using health insurance claims data for the year 2009, we estimated the prevalence of at least three of four quarters with a diagnosis of dementia in persons aged ≥65 years.


Of 213,694 persons aged 65+ years, 4,584 (2.2 %) lived in nursing homes. The prevalence of dementia was 51.8 % (95 % CI 50.4–53.3) in nursing home residents and 2.7 % (95 % CI 2.6–2.8) in community-dwelling elderly. Increasing prevalences with age were found in both sexes in community-dwelling elderly. These trends were not seen in nursing home residents where prevalences were already high for the age group 65–69 years (35.7 % in males and 40.9 % in females, respectively).


More than half of nursing home residents suffer from dementia, which is about 19-fold higher than the prevalence in insured living in the community.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Prince M, Bryce R, Albanese E, Wimo A, Ribeiro W, Ferri CP (2013) The global prevalence of dementia: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Alzheimer’s Dement J Alzheimer’s Assoc 9(63–75):e2

    Google Scholar 

  2. Riedel-Heller SG, Busse A, Angermeyer MC (2000) Are cognitively impaired individuals adequately represented in community surveys? Recruitment challenges and strategies to facilitate participation in community surveys of older adults. A review. Eur J Epidemiol 16:827–835

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Reuther S, van Nie N, Meijers J, Halfens R, Bartholomeyczik S (2013) Malnutrition and dementia in the elderly in German nursing homes. Results of a prevalence survey from the years 2008 and 2009. Z Gerontol Geriatr 46:260–267

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Weyerer S, Mann AH, Ames D (1995) Prevalence of depression and dementia in residents of old age homes in Mannheim and Camden (London). Z Gerontol Geriatr 28:169–178

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Schumacher J, Zedlick D, Frenzel G (1997) Depressive mood and cognitive impairment in results of old age nursing homes. Z Gerontol Geriatr 30:46–53

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Jakob A, Busse A, Riedel-Heller SG, Pavlicek M, Angermeyer MC (2002) Prevalence and incidence of dementia among nursing home residents and residents in homes for the aged in comparison to private homes. Z Gerontol Geriatr 35:474–481

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Fichter MM, Meller I, Schroppel H, Steinkirchner R (1995) Dementia and cognitive impairment in the oldest old in the community. Prevalence and comorbidity. Br J Psychiatr 166:621–629

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Reischies FM, Geiselmann B, Gessner R, Kanowski S, Wagner M, Wernicke F, Helmchen H (1997) Dementia in the very elderly. Results of the Berlin Aging Study. Nervenarzt 68:719–729

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Ziegler U, Doblhammer G (2009) Prevalence and incidence of dementia in Germany—a study based on data from the public sick funds in 2002. Gesundheitswesen 71:281–290

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Hoffmann F, Icks A (2012) Structural differences between health insurance funds and their impact on health services research: results from the Bertelsmann Health-Care Monitor. Gesundheitswesen 74:291–297

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Hoffmann F, Icks A (2011) Diabetes prevalence based on health insurance claims: large differences between companies. Diabet Med 28:919–923

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Schulze J, van den Bussche H, Glaeske G, Kaduszkiewicz H, Wiese B, Hoffmann F (2013) Impact of safety warnings on antipsychotic prescriptions in dementia: nothing has changed but the years and the substances. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 23:1034–1042

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Eisele M, van den Bussche H, Koller D, Wiese B, Kaduszkiewicz H, Mayer W, Glaeske G, Steinmann S, Wegscheider K, Schön G (2010) Utilization patterns of ambulatory medical care before and after the diagnosis of dementia in Germany: results of a case-control study. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 29:475–483

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Rothgang H (2010) Social insurance for long-term care: an evaluation of the german model. Soc Policy Adm 44:436–460

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Bartholomeyczik S, Hunstein D (2004) Time distribution of selected care activities in home care in Germany. J Clin Nurs 13:97–104

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank the Gmünder ErsatzKasse (GEK, now BARMER GEK) for providing the data. This study was supported by grants from the Jackstädt-Stiftung. The funder had no role in the study design, or in the collection, analysis, interpretation or presentation of the information.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Falk Hoffmann.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hoffmann, F., Kaduszkiewicz, H., Glaeske, G. et al. Prevalence of dementia in nursing home and community-dwelling older adults in Germany. Aging Clin Exp Res 26, 555–559 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Dementia
  • Epidemiology
  • Health services research
  • Care dependency
  • Germany