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


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. The 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.


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Director of Analytical Research Ltd, and Affiliate Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Mohamed is trained in engineering (MEng – Cairo University), computer science (MSc – Cairo University) and mathematical finance (MSc – CASS Business School, University of London). Mohamed started his career in in the City of London in 1990s, working as a quantitative analyst for leading global financial organisations, such as Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Mizuho and Credit Suisse, before he began to shift his focus onto quantitative social research. Since 2009, he has worked as an independent researcher in the field of social sciences with a particular drive to make use of different statistical and mathematical modelling techniques for the analysis of large and multi-dispersed data sets.

He has worked with universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Middle East; publishing a number of peer-reviewed articles. He has also been invited to give talks and presentations at several leading universities and organisations. His current research interests focus on exploring the potential role of mathematical dynamical systems in the field of population ageing across health and social care. Mohamed is the Director of Analytical Research ltd and an affiliate at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford.

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

Professor 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 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.