Ageing, Long-Term Care Provision and Funding Mechanisms in Turkey

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A new publication from MENARAH’s network authored by Mohamed Ismail and Professor Shereen Hussein providing a detailed review of ageing and long term care in Turkey. They also provide a novel estimation of long-term care costs in Turkey adopting an estimation model developed by the OECD.┬áThe findings of the review highlight the increasing share of older people in Turkey, the fast pace of population ageing, and escalating health and LTC unmet needs. Older people are reported to have high levels of depression, loneliness and co-morbidity with regional, gender and educational differentials. The Turkish LTC and welfare models rely on the family, particularly women, in meeting increased demand. A hierarchical model with random intercept was implemented and estimated the LTC cost in Turkey to be 0.02% of GDP, acknowledging the high proportion of people at labour participation age range and low female employment levels.

Current evidence highlights the increasing demand for LTC services in Turkey. While there have been some notable efforts in implementing and expanding LTC provision, there remain considerable gaps in provision and access to services. The Turkish LTC and welfare models rely on the family, particularly women, to provide care and state support usually comes from financial assistance to the most vulnerable groups. Evidence indicates that such reliance on the family might not be sustainable or suitable in meeting the significantly increasing LTC burden. However, due to current large cohorts of young people in the labour participation groups, linked to population dividends and low female labour participation rates, LTC expenditures in Turkey is estimated at only 0.02% of its GDP. This rate is considerably lower than its neighbouring European countries and acknowledges the current state of its young population and the role the family plays in LTC provision. There is currently a window of opportunity for Turkey to further develop and expand LTC provision before transitioning from ageing to an aged society over the next couple of decades.

This article is open access and can be accessed free of charge here. It is also part of a special issue of Sustainability, which is Guest Edited by Professor Shereen Hussein. This issue titled “Sustainable Care: Facing Global Ageing More Effectively” provides a selection of articles specific to sustainable care from a global perspective including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on formal and informal care; on family carers of people living with dementia; how to optimise assistive technology to support population ageing and the role of live-in care and migrant workers in providing care at home among others. The special issue presents comparative research from a large number of countries and in-depth evidence from Turkey, Slovenia, Norway and Italy.

IsmailHussein-2021-Sus