Elderly Care Needs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries

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Population ageing is a phenomenon affecting the whole world. The countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are no exception but transitions in population ageing are still in the early stages of the process. With current demographic dividends experienced by the GCC and the rest of the Middle-East, the pace of population ageing will be faster than that experienced by many European countries. The purpose of this paper is to explore the population ageing experience of different GCC countries while situating this within a context of social policies that still at the very early stages of acknowledging such change. We utilise data from sources such as the United Nations and the World Bank, complemented by policy analysis of current age-related social security measures in the GCC. Given the importance of the family aged care system in the region, we consider the implications of changes in family structures, living conditions, and care needs for the elderly. The findings confirm the declining trend in fertility combined with increased life expectancy in all the six GCC countries. However, they highlight that social policy measures focused on the older generations and their care needs are still relatively at the early stages of each country’s policy agenda. The implications of such changes are serious in term of both the demand for and supply of care. Policy-makers need to adapt cohesive social policy strategies that strengthen the complementing relationships between the state, family and wider community as stakeholders in the provision of aged care.

Khan, H., Hussein, S. and Deane, J. (2017) Nexus between demographic change and elderly care need in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries: Some policy implications. Ageing International, 42 (4):466–487.