New Eurofound report on care homes for older Europeans

12/11/2017 - 17:02

This report provides an overview of how public and private (both for-profit and non-profit) provision of care homes for older people has changed over the last decade. Even though there has been considerable change in the size and ownership of care homes, there are no EU-wide harmonised data disaggregated by type of ownership and/or the economic purpose of service providers. The report draws together the available data and also provides information from studies, evaluations and surveys about the differences between the accessibility, quality and efficiency of services provided in public and private care homes for older people. 

Key findings

Trends in provision

Over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in the number of care homes in nearly all the countries for which there are data available. At the same time, the number of public care homes is either decreasing (Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and the UK (Scotland)), or growing at a slower pace than private care homes (Cyprus, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia). Malta and Spain are an exception to this trend, with the number of public care homes increasing faster than private ones in both countries.

Implications for service delivery

Financial pressures on care home providers are a major issue (e.g. in the UK), one that is increasing with the rising number of people needing care, the costs of providing services and recruiting staff, and the promotion of quality for users. In some countries, private care homes provide fewer specialist medical services than public care homes. As private provision increases, costs to users are likely to become a more significant issue unless there is an increase in public benefits to subsidise funding. There are also differences in the location of different types of care homes, with private care homes more likely to be found in affluent urban areas.

To read the full report, click here.