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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract Background Rural-urban inequality in long-term care LTC services has been increasing alongside rapid socioeconomic development. This study estimates the average spending on LTC services and identifies the factors that influence the use and cost of LTC for the elderly living in urban and rural areas of Thailand.
Methods The sample comprised elderly aged 60 years drawn from rural and urban areas in Phichit Province. Costs were assessed over a 1-month period. Direct costs of caregiving and indirect costs opportunity cost method were analyzed. Binary logistic regression was performed to determine which factors affected LTC costs. Formal care and informal care comprise the largest share of payments. Conclusions Even though total LTC expenditures do not seem to vary significantly across rural and urban areas, the fundamental differences between areas need to be recognized.
Reorganizing country delivery systems and finding a balance between formal and informal care are alternative solutions. Go to: 1. Introduction Compared to other Asian developing countries, Thailand is in serious need of long-term care LTC due to its rapid aging population [ 1 ].
Since an average Thai survives beyond 80 years, LTC should be increased to nearly tenfold from to Unlike earlier cohorts, the population of Thailand and other developing countries, who would reach 70—80 years in the next few decades, are expected to be prone to noncommunicable diseases [ 2 , 3 ]. According to the World Health Organization WHO , LTC includes activities carried out by formal caretakers such as professionals; auxiliaries like social, health, or other workers; or informal caregivers like neighbors, friends, and family [ 4 ].
LTC policies are different in different nations and are influenced by culture, history, structure, and economic performance [ 5 , 6 ]. The government of Thailand completely understands the challenge that LTC poses regarding the declining availability of family aid [ 7 , 8 ].