Latest News

Information on press releases and related news of the department "Health, Long‐Term Care and Pensions".

Research team at SOCIUM presents BARMER Long-Term Care Report 2021

The BARMER Long-Term Care Report was presented today in Berlin. It highlights in particular the effects of the most recent long-term care reforms, and draws conclusions for future developments in the numbers of care dependents, as future staffing and financial requirements are derived from the number and composition of people in need of care. By 2025 and in subsequent years the number of people in need of care will actually be around 1 million more than predicted using conventional analytical methods. The Report discusses current long-term care policy in terms of the issue of personnel requirements – especially in the light of scientific assessments on staffing needs in full-time institutional care facilities. The authors, Professor Dr. Heinz Rothgang and Dr. Rolf Müller, also provide more in-depth studies on case numbers, incidences, prevalences and care processes. The main data sources are the long-term care statistics of the German Federal Statistical Office and routine claims data provided by BARMER.

Sharp growth in numbers (oder: the number of LTC dependents)

The successive inclusion of cognitive impairments in entitlement claims for long-term care insurance benefits means that the number of beneficiaries has progressively increased since the 2010s. According to long-term care figures for 2017-2019, the number of people in need of long-term care grew by 713,000. This growth can be attributed to demographic developments in 145,000 of cases, and other effects in connection with the introduction of care grades in 568,000 cases. Projections for future growth were hitherto based on the extrapolation from current prevalences. Calculations of this kind have invariably unterestimated future figures for care dependents. Current projections, based on care prevalence figures for 2019, underestimated the number of care dependents for the year 2020 by over 6 per cent. The authors of the Long-Term Care Report anticipate that in the coming years there will be no further expansion of entitled beneficiaries by legislative means, but that the effect of the introduction of previous reforms will only gradually abate by 2025. From then on, there will be a total of around 1,000,000 more people in care of need than predicted by conventional estimates. More recent estimates point especially to more care-dependents with Care Grades 1-3, and more people in receipt of care allowances.

Demand for careworkers predicted to be three per cent higher than conventional estimates

In spite of the large number of care-dependents with low care grades, there will also be higher take-up rates in residential care than forecast by conventional means. The new figures reveal that three per cent more care workers will be needed than previously estimated. Altogether, for the year 2030, 510,000 long-term care specialists, 196,000 care assistants with a 1-2 year training programme, and 386,000 untrained care assistants will be required. That is 81,000, 87,000 and 14,000 more, respectively, than indicated for 2019 according to the long-term care statistics. In 2030, therefore, there 182,000 more care workers will be required than in 2019. One should note, however, that even today the current legal requirements for care workers in full-time residential facilities, as well as the proportionate numbers in outpatient and day-care facilities, are often inadequate.

Benefit payments in 2030 comparable to 59m. Euros at today’s prices

In the model calculation, assuming that prevalences remain constant, benefit payments (at today’s prices) will increase to 53 bn. euros by 2030 and to 70.6 bn. euros by 2050. However, as the assumption of a constant prevalence at the level of 2019 has already been disproved for the year 2020, it must be assumed that the introductory effects will level off. Under these conditions, benefit payments (at today’s prices) can be expected to grow to 59 bn. euros by 2030 and 77.4 bn. euros by 2050. These new predictions thus show a financial shortfall of a further 6 bn. Euros as early as 2030.

Training Offensive is needed

The main problem remains the recruitment of care personnel. The main challenge of care policy is to meet increased requirements. To this end, more training opportunities must be made available. Moreover, the profession must be made more attractive by offering improved working conditions and higher pay. In this way it might be possible to persuade carers to remain in employment as carers) and to gain more prospective trainees.

Download (all in German only):
BARMER Pflegereport 2021
Statement von Prof. Rothgang anlässlich der Pressekonferenz
Folienvortrag von Prof. Rothgang anlässlich der Pressekonferenz


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Dr. rer. pol. Rolf Müller
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58554
E-Mail: rmint@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Özden Güdük will compare German and Turkish long-term care systems in her study


From mid-September until mid-March 2022, Dr. Özden Güdük will be a guest researcher at the Department of Health, Long-Term Care and Pensions. Özden Güdük is an assistant professor in the Health Science Faculty at Yuksek Ihtisas University in Ankara, Turkey. She has worked in the healthcare sector in different positions and organizations for more than 20 years. Lately, she has been working on the topic of home healthcare services in Turkey. This topic includes the patients who need long-term care and their caregivers/relatives and the organizational structure that provide the services for them.

As it is known, all countries – specially developed countries – have been facing the negative consequences of aging that cause intense demand for caregiving. When countries are compared according to their aged population, Turkey seems a little luckier than most developed countries such as Germany, Japan, and Italy. However, this picture is about to change dramatically. The elderly population and the number of dependent elderly have been increasing year by year in Turkey. Like other countries, Turkey makes an effort to provide such services both effectively and financially. One of the effective ways for this is considered "the long-term care insurance system".

Özden Güdük’s research project aims to examine the long-term care insurance used in Germany and compare it with the system in Turkey. She intends to be able contribute to the development of long-term care services in Turkey at the end of the project.

 


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Dr. Özden Güdük will compare German and Turkish long-term care systems in her study

From mid-September until mid-March 2022, Dr. Özden Güdük will be a guest researcher at the Department of Health, Long-Term Care and Pensions. Özden Güdük is an assistant professor in the Health Science Faculty at Yuksek Ihtisas University in Ankara, Turkey. She has worked in the healthcare sector in different positions and organizations for more than 20 years. Lately, she has been working on the topic of home healthcare services in Turkey. This topic includes the patients who need long-term care and their caregivers/relatives and the organizational structure that provide the services for them. 

As it is known, all countries – specially developed countries – have been facing the negative consequences of aging that cause intense demand for caregiving. When countries are compared according to their aged population, Turkey seems a little luckier than most developed countries such as Germany, Japan, and Italy. However, this picture is about to change dramatically. The elderly population and the number of dependent elderly have been increasing year by year in Turkey. Like other countries, Turkey makes an effort to provide such services both effectively and financially. One of the effective ways for this is considered "the long-term care insurance system".

Özden Güdük’s research project aims to examine the long-term care insurance used in Germany and compare it with the system in Turkey. She intends to be able contribute to the development of long-term care services in Turkey at the end of the project.

We are pleased to welcome Özden Güdük to the department and look forward to an interesting and mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and expertise.

Pandemic as a complex system, control of the epidemic using indicator-sets, children and adolescents in the corona pandemic, politics and democracy under pandemic conditions

The 8th theses paper expands the tried and tested tripartite division of epidemiology, prevention and social policy by a preceding chapter, which proposes a conceptual understanding of the epidemic that differs from the common, biological-linear view. A total of four topics are dealt with:

  • The pandemic as a complex system,
  • Control through indicators and development of indicator sets,
  • Children and adolescents in the corona pandemic,·
  • Politics and democracy under pandemic conditions.

 

Theses paper 8 tries to gain more perspective, primarily by proposing a concept for understanding the pandemic, secondly by proposing a set of indicators suitable for controlling, thirdly by further deepening the knowledge of the children and adolescents in the pandemic, and fourth, by attempting political interpretation to bid.

Summary:
The proposed concept is that the epidemic should be seen as a complex system. The individual persons represent the elements of the system, the infection as a form of interaction, the infection processes as a result of virus, host and environmental properties according to the rules of this interaction, that are indeed present in complex systems, but are not visible. Success-oriented handling of an epidemic requires knowledge of its essential characteristics (attractors, e.g. age dependency), the expansion of knowledge through iterative interventions (e.g. evaluation of school closings), and as the basis of all efforts, social self-confidence and openness to different approaches.

A concrete proposal for a multidimensional indicator set for control is presented, which, based on the draft of the German Hospital Society, focuses on age stratification and a reporting rate specified according to vaccination status, comorbidity, socio-economic factors and positivity rate along with test frequency. Outcome indicators such as hospitalization (also specified according to comorbidity and vaccination protection), intensive care and the need for ventilation are also used. However, a political line in the transition to multidimensional control systems is currently not discernible.

During the pandemic, children and adolescents made a significant contribution to society and, in doing so, accepted serious disadvantages themselves. In all measures that will apply in the future, your best interests must be given priority.

Instead of linearity and subordination, autonomy, ambiguity or VUCA (variability, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) are the words that have to be implemented in politics today.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Philip Manow
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58580
E-Mail: manow@uni-bremen.de

The group of authors supplements the statements from theses 4 and 6.1 on intensive medicine care


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Philip Manow
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58580
E-Mail: manow@uni-bremen.de

Health care research with secondary data: Report on cannabis-containing medicines based on prescriptions from BKK Mobil presented in an online press conference.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de

Apotheker Lutz Muth
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58530
E-Mail: lmuth@uni-bremen.de

Citizen Science-Projekt startet unter Beteiligung des SOCIUM

Das Bundesforschungsministerium hat die Förderung 15 neuer Projekte im Bereich Citizen Science bekanntgegeben. Über eine Laufzeit von bis zu vier Jahren werden Projekte gefördert, in denen Bürger:innen selbst zu Forschenden werden, indem sie ihre Expertise und ihr Erfahrungswissen einbringen. Dabei wird wechselseitig das Verhältnis von Forschungssubjekt und Forschungsobjekt erneuert, indem die Bürger:innen aus erster Hand erfahren, wie Wissenschaft funktioniert und die Wissenschaft Zugang zu neuen Ideen, Perspektiven und Daten erhält.
Im Verbundprojekt Be_WIZZARD ist das SOCIUM unter der Koordination der Kreisvolkshochschule Ammerland als wissenschaftlicher Partner beteiligt. Bis Ende 2024 werden Senior:innen im Ammerland in die Erforschung von Gelingensbedingungen guter Pflege einbezogen. Ausgangspunkt ist dabei die Vertrautheit mit lokalen Strukturen und Problemlagen, aus denen die konkreten Forschungsprojekte abgeleitet werden. Im Ergebnis sollen so die regionalen Gelingensbedingungen guter Pflege partizipativ erforscht werden, um daraus Handlungsempfehlungen für die politischen Akteure abzuleiten.


Contact:
Thomas Kalwitzki
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58544
E-Mail: thomas.kalwitzki@uni-bremen.de

Research team at SOCIUM presents BARMER Long-Term Care Report 2020

This year's BARMER Long-Term Care Report was presented today at the Conference Centre of the Federal Press Conference House in Berlin. The Report focuses this year on the analysis of stress and health status among care workers. The working time of 26,000 care workers was lost in the year 2017 due to an above-average disease burden. The Report discusses current long-term care policy with regard to the ongoing care crisis – particularly in the light of additional burdens brought on by the Corona pandemic. The authors – Professor Dr. Heinz Rothgang, Dr. Rolf Müller and Benedikt Preuß – carried out in-depth studies of case numbers, incidences, prevalences and long-term care trajectories. The figures are based primarily on the long-term care statistics for the year 2017 provided by the Federal Office of Statistics as well as routine claims data of the BARMER health insurance fund.

Workload considerably heavier in long-term care

Workloads have increased considerably in many respects for care workers. Around 92 per cent of geriatric care workers report that they often carry out their work standing up (cf. 47 per cent reported in other occupations). Seventy-six per cent of geriatric care workers report having to frequently lift and carry heavy weights (as against 15 per cent in other occupations). Working in forced postures is reported significantly more frequently (45 percent as compared to 11 per cent). Fifty-two per cent of geriatric carers report that they often have to comply with rules relating to minimum performance or stipulated times for carrying out specific tasks (as against 27 per cent in other occupations). Other pressures include frequent deadline and performance pressures (reported by 63 per cent compared to 50 per cent in other occupations); frequently having to work very quickly is reported by 53 per cent (cf. 39 per cent), and 31 per cent of geriatric care workers claim that they frequently reach the limits of their endurance (as against 16 per cent in other occupations). All these burdens are also reported to be stressful more frequently by care workers than by workers in other occupations.

Poorer Health Status among Care Workers

Correspondingly, care workers are found to be altogether in poorer health than workers in other occupations. This correlation is shown by all measurement methods used. Survey results, the analysis of outpatient diagnoses, absence rates, prescriptions and hospitalisation figures all show that care workers are more seriously affected by musculoskeletal, psychic and behavioural disorders. Though in many areas the workload is similar for qualified and for auxiliary geriatric care workers, the health status of auxiliary workers is poorer than among qualified care workers.

Very high absence rates through illness among care workers

Sickness rates stood at 7.2 per cent in 2017 among qualified geriatric care workers, and as high as 8.7 per cent among auxiliary carers; in other occupations, the sickness rate was 5.0 per cent.  The above-average working time lost through sickness is calculated by multiplying the difference in sickness rates by the number of care workers. This surplus work time lost amounts to the working time of well over 24,000 care workers in the year 2017.
On average, within the year 2017 3.9 out of 1,000 geriatric care workers and six out of 1,000 auxiliary workers are granted disability pensions, while the rate among other occupations is three per 1,000. The above-average early retirement rates led to a loss of almost 2,000 care workers in 2017. The aggregate of above-aberage sickness-related absence times and the above-average entry into disability retirement pensions corresponds to the working time of 26,000 care workers lost in 2017 alone.

There is no alternative but to hire more staff

Current employment figures in care work are inadequate to ensure both professional care and salubrious working conditions. The work intensification arising out of this leads to an excessive workload and negative health effects for employees. This situation generates increased absence through sickness, and more people changing occupations, which in turn aggravates the care crisis. The vicious circle is complete when the remaining care workers are burdened with an even greater workload. This vicious circle has to be broken to ensure sustainable, quality-assured care work – and it can only be broken by employing more staff.

Downloads (all in German only):
BARMER Care Report 2020
Statement by Prof. Rothgang at the Press Conference
PresentatIon given by Prof. Rothgang at the Press Conference



Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Dr. rer. pol. Rolf Müller
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58554
E-Mail: rmint@uni-bremen.de

Heinz Rothgang als Sachverständiger bei Anhörung zum Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Gesundheitsversorgung und Pflege


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

The Innovation Report 2020 evaluates drugs that entered the German market in 2017

This year's Innovation Report rates 31 active ingredients of medicines launched in 2017.

 

 

Innovation Report 2020:

long version

short version

Presentation of Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de