Long-term Care in Italy

The provision of long-term care (LTC) for senior citizens in Italy is at the center of the recent policy debate. Italy has witnessed a spectacular increase in the share of people aged 65 and over and in particular of people aged 80 and over, which could translate in large increases in the number of people in need of care. This study shows that individuals who are in need of LTC have lower economic resources than the average, so that many frail older people have little financial means to pay out-of-pocket for formal care. In fact, publicly provided care is highly fragmented, with stark differences emerging in terms of coverage and generosity across Italian regions. Hence, the supply of LTC is relying heavily on the informal support of members of the family, especially women, at the same time formal care is characterised by a significant underground economy of unskilled carers.