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.

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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.