- 16 juni 2023
- Goed Leven met Dementie
Are older people worse off in 2040 regarding health and resources to deal with it? - Future developments in complex health problems and in the availability of resources to manage health problems in the Netherlands
Introduction: Developing sustainable health policy requires an understanding of the future demand for health and social care. We explored the characteristics of the 65+ population in the Netherlands in 2020 and 2040, focusing on two factors that determine care needs: (1) the occurrence of complex health problems and (2) the availability of resources to manage health and care (e.g., health literacy, social support). Methods: Estimations of the occurrence of complex health problems and the availability of resources for 2020 were based on registry data and patient-reported data. Estimations for 2040 were based on (a) expected demographic developments, and (b) expert opinions using a two-stage Delphi study with 26 experts from policy making, practice and research in the field of health and social care. Results: The proportion of people aged 65+ with complex health problems and limited resources is expected to increase from 10% in 2020 to 12% in 2040 based on demographic developments, and to 22% in 2040 based on expert opinions. There was high consensus (>80%) that the proportion with complex health problems would be greater in 2040, and lower consensus (50%) on an increase of the proportion of those with limited resources. Developments that are expected to drive the future changes refer to changes in multimorbidity and in psychosocial status (e.g., more loneliness). Conclusion: The expected increased proportion of people aged 65+ with complex health problems and limited resources together with the expected health and social care workforce shortages represent large challenges for public health and social care policy.
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