How we age affects our demand for healthcare and social care. Delayed disability means improved functioning at older ages, which may be associated with lower care expenditure. In this scenario, populations age more healthily, and healthcare and social care expenditure increase less than proportionally to the number of people at older ages because the burden of disease is postponed to older ages, and often compressed to a short period of time before death. On the other hand, aging and delayed disabilities may also result from timely long-term healthcare. Early detection of chronic conditions leads to better control of disease progression, and therefore survival. Patients with one or more chronic conditions can live with high levels of physical and cognitive functioning, but often at high healthcare and social care expenditures. In this scenario, expenditure increases more than proportionally with the number of people at older ages.
This project addresses three overlapping societal challenges associated with changing aging processes and older populations: physical functioning, cognitive functioning, and the health economic consequences of population aging. Investigators are investigating the following questions:
- How have the age of onset and progression of physical disability and cognitive disability changed over time in Denmark and other Nordic countries?
- What are the medium- and long-term forecasts for age of onset of physical disability and cognitive disability in Denmark?
- How does aging affect demand for healthcare and social care in Denmark? What are the expenditure consequences?
- What are the past and current healthcare and social care expenditure patterns in Denmark? How are they impacted by changes in physical and cognitive disability?
- Can expenditure patterns, demographic developments, and disability trends improve medium- and long-term forecasts of healthcare and social care expenditure in Denmark?
The outputs of this project will inform policy responses, clinical interventions, and healthcare and social care organization, delivery, and finance.
This project was led by Jes Søgaard until June 2023.
The project “Challenges of Ageing Populations: Physical Functioning, Cognitive Functioning, and Health Economic Consequence” has received funding from the ROCKWOOL Foundation.