Mary Ann Erickson

Associate Professor, Gerontology


In the U.S., as in other countries, most long-term care is provided informally, by families.  However population changes are creating a dilemma.  Longer lives often mean more need for care, while smaller families and increased rates of divorce often result in fewer potential family caregivers.  By studying long-term care in a global context, students will become aware not just of the fragmented system of formal long-term care in the U.S., but of comprehensive systems instituted in other countries.

Power Point file:

“Long-Term Care in a Global Context” – an overview of key issues and the basics of programs in Germany, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and Denmark.

Suggested readings:

Lassey, William R. and Marie L. Lassey (Eds.), 2001.  Quality of Life for Older People:  An International Perspective.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice-Hall.

In addition to chapters giving an overview of factors involved in promoting quality of life, seven chapters focus on programs in individual countries (Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, and France).

Suggested websites

AARP International

Good set of resources about policies relating to aging in different countries.  Include links to their Global Report on Aging.

AgeLine database – Recent scholarly journals are an excellent source of information.

Possible class activities

For an upper level class, have groups of students research the long-term care system in one of the countries with a more comprehensive LTC system (such as Germany, Japan, and Denmark).