Caring for Relatives
Care needs in Germany
Caring for people with long-term needs is one of the great social challenges of our time because the number of people in need of long-term care is set to increase significantly in the coming years. The importance of long-term care and questions relating to financing, service design and quality of care are increasingly a matter of interest for politics and society. According to the Pflege-Report, which provides an annual assessment of current care needs in Germany and how they are being met, 4.3 million people were in need of care at the end of 2020, about 80 percent of whom were being cared for while living at home. More than half of those in need of care are 80 years of age and older. However, the need for care is not only evident in the older population. Almost one fifth of those affected are under the age of 60.
In addition to children and young people, this group includes adults of working age as well as people with particular underlying conditions such as early-onset dementia, people who require ongoing breathing support and people with disabilities. 4 to 5 million people care for a relative. Around half of the carers are still working themselves. Assuming responsibility for the provision of care is usually physically and psychologically stressful for everyone involved. Not only is the organisational effort required initially very high; often, the onset of the need for care occurs unexpectedly or has not been the subject of much previous discussion within the family.
What is helpful when talking to people who are in need of care?
The first conversation with your own parents about possible care needs can be challenging. However, it is a good idea to get to grips with this subject before any decisions have to be made further down the road. Keep the following tips in mind: