With people living longer, the need for affordable care of high quality to support Europe’s population increases. Over the last ten years there has been an expansion of the private sector in terms of the number of care homes and the places they provide. This increase takes place in a context of decrease or very slow growth in the services provided in public care homes. This report examines services in the public and private sectors, how they differ in the services they provide in terms of the quality, accessibility and efficiency of services. As private provision increases, costs to users are likely to become a more significant barrier issue unless there is an increase in public benefits to subsidise use. There are also some differences in the location of different types of care homes, with private care homes more likely to be found in affluent urban areas. Differences in the types of residents are influenced by the profitability of the services they require.
This report provides an overview of how public and private (both for-profit and non-profit) provision of care homes for older people has changed over the last decade. Even though there has been considerable change in the size and ownership of care homes, there are no EU-wide harmonised data disaggregated by type of ownership and/or the economic purpose of service providers. The report draws together the available data and also provides information from studies, evaluations and surveys about the differences between the accessibility, quality and efficiency of services provided in public and private care homes for older people. The information was gathered mainly through a literature review and by Eurofound’s Network of European Correspondents, which provided data from national statistical offices and studies.