Long-term care system developments in Europe and the Middle East: Reflections on Iran’s long-term care system


In a session facilitated by HelpAge International, Professor Shereen Hussein draws on current policy development in long-term care within the context of population ageing in Iran. The presentation was part of a seminar with key stakeholders in Iran. Professor Hussein started by providing an overview of population ageing and demographic changes in Iran comparatively to the wider MENA region. She then discussed the socio-geographic context of the region and the implications related to care provisions and preferences of care models within families and individuals.

The discussion included reflections on the impact of COVID19 on older people and care provision with a view of learning from such experiences when planning services and support. The presentation then discussed some potential ideas to developing a long term care market that is tailored to the cultural and societal needs and preferences of older people in Iran and the region.

In conclusion, the presentation recommended developing a multi-dimensional response to population ageing. First, it is crucial to empower older people and enhance their ability to live independently and manage their self-care. Second, building capacity and knowledge mobilisation of innovations and research that can be adapted within the Iranian context. Third, the importance of creating formal and regulated care markets with an adequately trained and supported workforce. Fourth, develop mechanisms to funding and financing long-term care at the state and individual levels.


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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and its impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.