The rapid aging of OECD country populations and the now five-year-long financial crisis in Europe are causing many OECD countries to reconfigure their assistance programs for the elderly, particularly their long-term care (LTC) policies. Debates about intergenerational responsibilities are evident in recently published research papers that examine how countries are revising programs for the elderly. Building financial sustainability into program reforms has suddenly become a priority. Until just recently, reform efforts focused on creating efficiencies and better quality of services. What emerges from the recent literature is a strong sense that the OECD countries are responding to the financial crisis and the rapid aging of populations in very similar ways. Given the countries' different histories of how they provide assistance to their elderly citizens, the convergence of policy responses is not something we might have foreseen. The United States could learn much from the OECD countries' choices.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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