In Germany the majority of people in need of care are living at home with the help of their family and/or professional carers. Admission into a nursing is seen as the last step. Caregiving in nursing homes is required if caregiving at home is not possible due to the absence of an informal carer or cannot be provided to the required degree, in particular if the recipient suffers from mental illnesses or if around-the-clock-care and advice is required. Residents in nursing homes are therefore on average older than people living at home, the share of females is higher and the level of dependency is also higher. Underlying diseases have a significant influence on nursing home admissions, in particular dementia, Parkinson`s disease, stroke and malignant tumours.
Erika Schulz is a Senior Researcher at DIW Berlin and is a specialist in population studies, migration and labour market behaviour, especially of females, health care and long-term care. She is an economist, with a large experience in demographic and health research, in particular in long-term care.