The number of informal carers for frail elderly people is set to fall steeply. Jean-Marie Robine and colleagues propose a new way to assess the trend that should help policy makers plan for the deficit
The authors suggest that the demographic indicators used for studies of population aging based on a three age group population model (young people, working age people and elderly people) should be changed to reflect the effect of the change in population age structure on intergenerational relationships. A four age group population model of young people, working age people, younger retired people and the oldest people will reflect this. Younger retired people increasingly help care for very elderly people through informal care. The number of informal carers for the frail elderly is set to drop and this assessment will reflect that trend for policymakers.