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Long-Term Care in Developed Nations: A Brief Overview

The aging of the population in all developed countries, and in many developing countries, is accelerating the search for ways to enhance the long-term independence of people of all ages with disabilities. All industrialized nations are tackling issues of access, cost, and quality of long-term care services, leading to new opportunities to share experiences and knowledge cross-nationally.

In this AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper, Mary Jo Gibson, Steven R. Gregory and Sheel M. Pandya provide a brief overview of many key long-term care policy trends in developed nations, such as encouraging home and community services, providing support for family caregivers, and insuring individuals against the high costs of long-term care. While there are many innovative services in the United States, this overview concentrates on examples from other countries, mostly European, that have much "older" populations. With the exception of Japan, the world's 25 oldest countries are all in Europe; the United States ranks 29th. (41 pages)

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