Our figure of the month 04/2019: Rapid increase in the need for long-term care in Germany
The current figures for the nursing care statistics show more than 3.4 million people in need of nursing care in Germany in 2017, which represents a significant increase over previous years. Persons who receive benefits from the social long-term care insurance are defined to be in need of long-term care.
In 2015, the number of people in need of long-term care was still below the 3 million mark and only 2.3 million in 2008. A sharp increase in the need for long-term care has therefore been observed in Germany in recent years (+49 % since 2008, see chart). At the beginning of the millennium, the number grew at a comparatively moderate rate of 14 %. This development is primarily due to the rising number of people in need of care at home, who currently number 2.6 million which is a quarter higher than in 2015. In contrast, 0.8 million of those in need of nursing care are in inpatient care in nursing homes. The ratio of home care to inpatient care is around three to one, with the proportion shifting in favor of home care since 2005.
The recording of the need for long-term care goes hand in hand with the allocation of those in need of long-term care to levels 1 to 5, which have replaced the previous levels of long-term care since 2017. The extent of the health-related impairment of independence determines the classification of the degree of care, with a higher degree of care representing a more severe impairment. At present, almost half of those in need of long-term care fall under care level 2, as the right-hand part of the figure illustrates. Another 30 % and 16 % respectively of those in need of long-term care have more severe impairments and nursing degrees 3 and 4, while around 7 % belong to the group of nursing degrees 5 with the most severe impairments. Only a small minority have been classified as nursing level 1.
In view of the need for long-term care in Germany, the demand for well-trained nursing staff remains high. Appropriate capacities must be ensured in both inpatient and outpatient care. At the same time, the number of affected relatives who provide part of the care at home and have to cope with great demands is also rising.
Other figures can be found here.