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Abstract Chapter 7

Chapter 7 provides an updated overview of the social care and long-term care sectors in Italy. Data regarding public interventions for these targeted citizens are presented along with a mapping of the different public services available and estimates of the total number of citizens in need that could potentially benefit from these public interventions. The analysis shows that the overall public effort in social care and long-term care is still insufficient when compared with the potential needs of the population, since only 30% (on average for the three targets) of citizens in need currently receive care in public residential facilities, daily or home care services. The chapter then moves on to the healthcare sector, addressing the phenomenon of dependent elderly accessing hospitals to meet their long-term care needs. Data regarding inpatient admissions show that more than 55% are “multiple inpatient hospitalizations”, that is, hospitalizations that occur more than once in a single year and for similar reasons. The 881.361 elderly patients analyzed spent on average 29 days in the hospital per year. Fully 75% of these inpatient hospitalizations were comprised of a series of acute events, with the same medical diagnostic category and in the same hospital. Moreover, the patients were seldom referred by a general practitioner, and they were not linked with any kind of follow-up post-hospitalization services.