Projections of future long-term care (LTC) expenditure are very sensitive to assumptions about future rates of disability and dementia. This article reviews different approaches to the formulation of the underlying assumptions for LTC and gives examples of their impact on future LTC expenditure projections in England. Disability scenarios from an epidemiological model, based on assumptions about chronic diseases, their outcomes and treatments, suggest that a constant (non-increasing) prevalence of disability may reflect an optimistic assumption. Projections indicate that investment in cost-effective public health and in the management of chronic conditions – with the aim of moderating disability or slowing down the progression of dementia – may yield a reduction in the future costs of LTC.
Comas-Herrera, A. Malley, J. [and] Wittenberg, R. (2011). Disability, dementia and the future costs of long-term care. Eurohealth 2011; Vol.17(2-3): pp.10-12.