As people get older, the need for care increases. A new calculation sees a significant increase by mid-century.
According to new calculations, the number of people in need of care could increase to around 6.8 million people in Germany by 2055 simply due to increasing aging. That would be an increase of 37 percent compared to 2021, the Federal Statistical Office announced on Thursday in Wiesbaden. The reason is the baby boomers, i.e. the baby boomers. After that, no major changes are to be expected, in 2070 around 6.9 million people in need of care would be possible in Germany. For the year 2035, the Federal Office assumes that there will be around 5.6 million people in need of care.
The Federal Office bases the forecast on a constant percentage of the population in need of care. The authority also published a calculation based on a higher proportion: Then the number of people in need of care nationwide would already be 6.3 million in 2035 (up 27 percent compared to 2021) and in 2055 7.6 million (up 53 percent). In 2070, a figure of 7.7 million would then be possible (plus 55 percent).
The further in the future, the more difficult it is to predict developments. The Federal Office explained that these are not forecasts, but possible developments. Johannes Geyer from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) says that in the past most estimates have proven to be too conservative. Ten years ago, it was assumed that there would be fewer than four million people in need of care in 2030.
Currently, care often takes place in the family
The decisive factor is the number of recipients of benefits. This could also be higher in the future if the regulations on who receives benefits are even broader. Currently, care is also often provided in the family. If there is an increasing number of people living alone and smaller family networks, this is no longer possible on the previous scale.
One thing is clear: “The pressure on the families who carry the main part of the care and on the care sector, which is already struggling with staff shortages, will increase,” said the expert. The same applies to the cost pressure in long-term care insurance. The current political debate is very much focused on the inpatient sector. However, people mostly wanted to spend the rest of their lives in their familiar surroundings. Therefore, it is also necessary to think about strengthening outpatient care.
The shoe in care, especially in the home environment, has been pressing for a long time, explains the social association VdK. The majority of the five million people who are currently being cared for are cared for by their families or neighbors. The political reforms set the course in the direction of home support, which completely ignores this reality. The VdK demands a care wage for caregivers. Only with this and with a legal entitlement to a day care place can the increase in the coming decades be managed, explained association president Verena Bentele.
Poverty trap warning
The figures from the Federal Office should be a reminder to Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to make long-term care insurance benefits generation-fair and future-proof, demanded Eugen Brysch from the German Foundation for Patient Protection. Lauterbach must take countermeasures immediately, otherwise more and more people would slip into the poverty trap in their old age.
According to the Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services, nursing care is already not guaranteed in many places: “Something has to happen so that Germany doesn’t rush into a nursing undersupply at high speed.”
The Federal Minister of Health is working on a care reform. There should be relief for those in need of care due to the sharp rise in care costs – but also higher contributions. The care contribution is to be increased in the summer and also differentiate more strongly according to whether you have children or not.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.