The study, which includes country reports and a synthesis report, provides a brief description of the main features of the national long-term care systems in 35 European countries - EU Member States as well as EFTA and enlarging countries.
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The synthesis report presents a comparative analysis of the national long-term care systems. It identifies national reforms aimed at tackling these challenges and presents a brief overview of national long-term care indicators. It also puts forward a number of recommendations.
The country reports analyse four challenges:
access to and adequacy of long-term care provisions,
issues related to the employment situation of carers,
the quality of LTC provision and jobs, and
the financial sustainability of national long-term care provisions.
Population ageing is a key common challenge to the sustainability of long-term care systems in the Member States in the medium- to longer-term perspective.
With rising life expectancy, more people are likely to reach an age where declining physical and mental health make them dependent on help from others.
At the same time, the pool of family carers – a fundamental pillar of many long-term care systems in the EU – is shrinking due to families having fewer children, rising female employment and increasing pensionable ages.
The European Pillar of Social Rights (principle 18) states that everyone has the right to affordable long-term care of good quality, in particular home-care and community-based services.
Long-term care is the responsibility of Member States. However, the visibility given to it in the Pillar opens opportunities to develop a more ambitious action plan at the EU level to respond to the growing common challenges.