In recent decades, European societies have experienced a significant ageing process, driven mostly by rising life expectancies and rather low fertility levels. Research results indicate that, at the individual level, healthy life expectancy is increasing faster than life expectancy, which implies that the average period an individual will need long-term care over his lifetime is shrinking (Christensen et al. 2008).

At the macro level, however, due to the overall ageing process, the share of the population who will need long-term care at an older age is increasing. At the same time, as the average family size has been shrinking, the share of elderly people who can rely on family care is decreasing. This has fostered development in the field of long-term care policies for the elderly. The services provided might include, for example, rehabilitation, basic medical treatment, home nursing, and the provision of meals; and these services might be offered in the form of institutional, residential, or home care.

This section (collected until 2016 witin PERFAR) provides legal information on health policies over time, focusing on the following field:


Christensen, K., McGue, M., Petersen, I., Jeune, B. and Vaupel, J.W. (2008). Exceptional longevity does not result in excessive levels of disability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 105 (36): 13274–13279.