Projections of Long-term Care Costs and Long-term Care Personnel

For demographic reasons, the number of older people in Austria will rise sharply in the coming decades, both in absolute terms and relative to younger people. This will lead to a decline in the care potential of families and to cost increases in the care sector. The development of the health status of older people will have a somewhat dampening effect. This study brings the various effects together to estimate the expected demand for long-term care and the resulting labour requirements up to the year 2050. The number of people receiving long-term care benefits will increase by 57 percent between 2021 and 2050, reaching more than 730,000 in 2050. The public costs associated with this development will increase from 2.74 billion € to 9.17 billion € (in real terms, taking into account the annual valorisation of the long-term care allowance). The projections of the evolution of public expenditure on long-term care services between 2021 and 2050 show a clear increase in both net expenditure and the number of people receiving care. While the net cost of all long-term care services in 2021 is about 2.71 billion €, it will increase to about 4.22 billion € (+56 percent) in 2030 and 10.7 billion € (+294 percent) in 2050 (at 2021 prices). The demand for nursing staff will increase accordingly. Based on today's staffing levels, almost 17,000 additional care workers (more than 12,000 full-time equivalents) will be needed by 2030 to maintain today's staffing ratios. By 2050, just under 77,000 additional carers (or just under 57,000 full-time equivalents) will be needed. This figure does not take into account the need to expand the workforce to meet any shortages, which would further increase the demand for care staff.