Retierment Essay

2286 words - 10 pages

Age and Ageing 1997; 26-S2: 3 -12

Nursing homes in 10 nations:
a comparison between countries
and settings
Department of General Practice, Nursing Home Medicine and Social Medicine, Medical Faculty,
Vrije Universiteit, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands
'Stockholm, Sweden, 2Hackensack, NJ, USA, 3Prague, Czech Republic, ^Research Triangle Park, NC, USA,
Tokyo, Japan, 6Paris, France and Reykjavik, Iceland

Aim: to illustrate demographic differences and recent trends in the provision and structure of ...view middle of the document...

Facing a rapid ageing of their
population, many countries are in the process of health and social care reforms.
Keywords: ageing population, health care reforms, institutionalization, long-term care, nursing homes, residential homes, support

Demographic trends and age-related morbidity rates
are important determinants of the need for long-term
care services, such as nursing homes. In addition, a
host of socio-cultural factors, including the availability
and type of housing, the structure of families and the
preferences of elderly people and their caregivers
significantly influence both the demand for and the
availability of long-term care services. The increase
in the numbers of elderly people (65 years of age and

over) and especially the oldest old (those 80 years of
age and over), who generally have a greater level of
disability secondary to multiple chronic diseases, has
resulted in most developed nations experiencing a
striking growth in the demand for long-term care over
the last two to three decades. It is projected that there
will be an even greater need for such services in the
future [1].
The policy responses to this demand by health care
and social services agencies vary greatly from country

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Address correspondence to: M. W. Ribbe. Fax: (+31) 20 444 8231. E-mail:

M. W. Ribbe et al.

We assembled data from government documents,
statistical yearbooks and journal articles. Data on
population characteristics were obtained from each
country's national bureau of statistics or its equivalent,
when possible. In addition, a questionnaire was sent
to the authors of all papers in this supplement,
requesting data on their countries' long-term care
system. This questionnaire included items on the
definition of terms, the characteristics and functions
of nursing homes and policies pertinent to patient
care. The participating countries in this study were
Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. These
countries have been selected because they have one or
more members in the international research group
interRAI of the RAI and these members were able to
provide data of sufficient quality for the questionnaire.

the net rate of migration. The growth rate in Iceland,
the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and the USA has
been between 0.7 and 1.1% annually, while in Japan,
the UK and Italy it has been only 0.3%. Sweden is the
'oldest' country in the study, and the USA, Iceland and
the Netherlands are the 'youngest' (Table 1) [1-4]. The
most rapid ageing of the population [the increase in the
percentage of the elderly population (^65 years)
between 1993 and 2025] will be experienced by Japan
(almost 100%). Most other countries show in that period
an increase of the elderly population of around 50%,

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