The future trends in living arrangements and needs of care of older people in Europe
Sabine Springer, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Joëlle Gaymu, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Christiane Delbès, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Gijs Beets, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Peter Ekamper, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
The choice of elderly people of a specific living arrangement can be presented as a step-wise decision where health conditions and marital status are the first determinants: old people can continue to live in their own homes if they are in good health or if they reside with another person. Their personal socio-economic situation and the support they may expect from their children determines the resources that can be mobilised to face needs for care and for specific residential arrangements as, for example intergenerational co-residence or nursing homes. Everywhere in Europe, due to cohort replacement and foreseeable changes in these individual characteristics, the future living arrangements of the elderly and the future needs for support will be different from those observed today. The growing proportion of persons living with a partner, the decreasing proportion of childless persons and the probable improvement in health status should change the balance between informal and formal needs, and the need for institutionalization in particular. These changes should help to ease the considerable pressure, due to an increase of the elderly population, that will be placed on resources in coming years.