Long-term Care (LTC)

What is long-term care?

Long-term care (LTC) is the broad range of services and assistance needed for people who have long-standing functional or cognitive limitations and require help with daily living activities. Long-term care can be provided formally – through public or private services either in one’s home, in the community or in an institution – or informally by family and friends. Key areas of policy and research include:

  • Financing and governance of long-term care: the public-private mix of expenditure, through which care for older adults with care needs is funded and related political responsibilities, power, and decision-making.
  • Informal care: the unpaid care work carried out by relatives and friends, most often by women, as a key characteristic of LTC.
  • Quality assurance and quality development: the structures, processes and results of LTC services that call for assessment, regulation, monitoring and continuous improvement.
  • Workforce and working conditions in LTC: the need for an appropriate number of professionals with decent working conditions in terms of education, working times and pay.
  • Inequalities in health and care: the need to overcome differences in health status or the ability to access care across the population and between specific population groups.

Why is long-term care important?

As individuals age, they become more likely to require care and support with daily activities. Many people will need some form of LTC in the later years of life. The number of older adults in need of care and support will continue to rise in future as a result of rising longevity, population ageing and other societal trends, raising the importance of designing LTC systems in an equitable and sustainable way.

What we offer:

Researchers at the European Centre are well-versed in analysing and assessing LTC policies with a focus on the implications for care users and informal carers. We also offer trainings and consultancy for professionals, provider organisations and policy makers in LTC.

Specifically, we:

  • Use quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the impact of different LTC policies, as well as experiences of caregiving, and how these are distributed across different population groups and generations
  • Identify and assess potential measures and good practices to improve the adequacy, fairness and fiscal sustainably of LTC systems across Europe
  • Carry out comparative analyses of successful policies to achieve more equitable health and LTC systems across the UNECE region
  • Collaborate with various stakeholders to improve the delivery of person-centred LTC through research, policy, education and training
  • Consult on the implementation of quality assurance policies and quality management models in organisations providing LTC
  • Organise mutual learning events to support the structured exchange of experience and knowhow between stakeholders
  • Offer policy advice on the organisation and development of LTC systems

Project examples

Contact persons

Selma Kadi

Selma Kadi

Kai Leichsenring

Kai Leichsenring


Cassandra Simmons