Long-term care

With aging being an undeniable reality in our society, it is crucial to pay attention to the various aspects of quality of life and care for older people. How can we control healthcare costs without obstructing access to high-quality care for older individuals? How can we enhance the quality of life for individuals in their terminal phase and mitigate the burden of informal caregiving to a manageable level?

These types of questions are not only relevant in the Netherlands but also in many other countries. Almost everyone knows someone who requires care in their later years, and more than half of the population moves to a nursing home at some point in their lives. Additionally, friends, acquaintances, and family members often provide informal care. Hence, long-term care is the second-largest sector in healthcare expenditure, following medical specialist care.

Research that helps make choices

Our research contributes to a better understanding of the key issues in care for older people: what choices should policymakers make? And providers, older individuals, and their families? We address these questions using quantitative research, utilizing administrative data and survey data. The results of our research provide insights to older adults and policymakers into the long-term care expenditures and how that money is allocated.

We collaborate with other researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, regularly discussing the results and our future plans with policymakers, patient representatives, and other stakeholders.

Recent research on long-term care

  • Institutional care: Are older individuals better off with formal care at home or in a nursing home? What do the health outcomes of nursing home residents reveal about the performance of nursing homes? What are factors contributing to differences in nursing home admissions in the Netherlands, Denmark, and the USA? Example 1Example 2Example 3
  • Informal care: What are the consequences of providing informal caregiving, and what solutions exist to make caregiving responsibilities more manageable? How has the burden on informal caregivers changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the long-term health effects of providing informal caregiving?Example 1
  • Well-being: What is the impact of a permanent nursing home admission on the well-being of those who are admitted? Example 1;
  • Hospital care: Has the Dutch long-term care reform in 2015, primarily designed to enable older individuals to age at home, led to more and longer acute hospital admissions? Example 1;
  • Dementia: How does the usage of care for individuals with dementia and the allocation of funding for this care differ among individuals with dementia, caregivers, and government programs in the US and Europe? Example 1
  • Financing: How do we improve incentives for quality and prevention in the procurement of care for older individuals?

Media coverage and videos

  • “What Long-Term Care Looks Like Around the World” (New York times) 
  • “Out-of-pocket payments for nursing home residents: Balancing financial protection with incentives for efficient use” (VoxEU)
  • “The Netherlands makes aging and long-term care a priority. In the US, it’s a different story” (Boston Globe)
  • “How to talk about healthcare costs” (TEDxErasmus University on YouTube)

Researchers working on this theme:


Questions or remarks? Click on one of the publications or researcher profiles above for more information or send us an e-mail.

Want to stay updated? Follow @healtheconrdam on Twitter.

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes