Report: Estonian residents underestimate the risk of needing long-term care

Estonian residents underestimate the risk of needing long-term care according to the Foresight Centre report The Need for Long-Term Care in Estonia. One in two of the now 65-year-old Estonian residents will need long-term care services in the future.

“The ageing of the population increases the need for long-term care in Estonia,” said the Head of Research of the Foresight Centre Lenno Uusküla. “In Estonia, around 160,000–190,000 people need help in their daily life, and by the year 2050 this would increase by 26,000.”

Nearly one in two need long-term care because of their age, the rest have a congenital condition or have been disabled through injury or illness. “One in two of the 65-year-olds today will need long-term care services in the future,” Uusküla predicted. 

In Estonia, all age groups experience more restricting conditions in their daily lives than Europeans on average. 51% of Estonia’s residents estimate that by 2020 they would be suffering from a long-term (chronic) illness or a health problem. 

Lenno Uusküla believes that Estonia’s residents underestimate the need for long-term care. “The population survey commissioned by the Foresight Centre shows that only 7% of the respondents estimate the likelihood of needing help in the future to be significant and 23% as average, while 70% expect it to be small, non-existent, or are unable to respond,” Uusküla explained. “This means that more than two people in three are not making plans in case they need help; the topic is mistakenly seen as inconsequential, or the people are simply inadequately informed.”

In 2021, the study projects of the Foresight Centre include Future of Long-Term Care, which seeks solutions for funding the needs of long-term care in an ageing society over the next 15 years.

The Foresight Centre is an advisory board at the Chancellery of the Riigikogu that analyses long-term developments in society and economy. The Centre conducts research projects to analyse the long-term developments in the Estonian society, and to identify new trends and development directions.

Latest news

See more news