Research Article

Denmark: the elderly living in style.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.287.6398.1053 (Published 08 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1053
  1. T Smith

    Abstract

    In the next 20 years every country in Western Europe will see a rise in its total numbers of people aged over 60, and since old people are now living longer the proportion aged over 75 will also rise. Both physical and mental disorders become much more common between 60 and 75, so that if these old people are to be provided with accommodation and medical services at contemporary standards many more places will be needed in sheltered flats, nursing homes, and geriatric hospitals. Yet in the current economic recession most European countries are trying to cut back on public expenditure. How do politicians and administrators reconcile the conflict between the demands created by demographic change and the freeze on public spending? How will the care of the elderly change in response to this conflict? Tony Smith is examining the ways in which old people are looked after in several European countries and their plans for the future. This first article deals with Denmark.