Long-term care workers have, in many countries, become the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asian region is no different. As the region grapples with an increasingly aging population, the pandemic has prompted new policies that aim to support long-term care workers, particularly migrants, in supporting older people.
These interconnecting dynamics—between long-term care, migration, and COVID-19—are the subject of a new paper, published today, by the Center for Global Development (CGD) in partnership with GaneshAid.
Increasing demand for long-term care
Asia is home to some of the world’s most rapidly aging populations. Over the past seven decades, total fertility rates (TFR) have fallen steeply and life expectancy has jumped dramatically. Thanks to better healthcare and basic standards of living and sanitation, both men and women in these countries can now expect to live well into their 80s, if not 90s.
These trends have led to a higher old-age dependency ratio (Figure 1), which puts more pressure on younger people to care and provide for older people. Yet younger people are also eschewing these traditional roles at an increasing rate, seeking to move to cities and participate in the labor market (especially true for women).