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Demographic change Elderly will need more help to stay at home

The number of elderly people needing help to live at home is set to increase dramatically over the next 15 years, according to the pensioners group Pro Senectute. (RTS/swissinfo.chexternal link).

Their study called “First agile, then fragile” shows that at present, 57% of over 85-year-olds – or 190,000 people – currently live at home. By 2030, the number will increase to 65% or 404,000 people.

This will mean a large increase in costs for caring for them. Figures provided by the Center for Disability and Integration of the University of St Gallen show health costs for stay-at-home pensioners who need support will rise from 7.2 billion francs ($7.4 billion) in 2015 to 10.5 billion in 2030, and this is a conservative estimate.

The study identifies major shortfalls in home healthcare and domestic services and indicates the direction in which they should be developed. The group also calls for more discussion of how these extra services can be financed so that widespread coverage can be provided in the future, especially for poorer pensioners.

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