Care and assistance for elderly people

  • Over 5% of over-65s live in residential care centres

    In 2018, more than 70,000 over-65s in the Flemish Region lived in a residential care centre, which is 5.3% of the population aged 65 and over.

    In 2008, almost 60,000 over-65s or 5.2% of this age group lived in residential care centres, which is a very similar share.

  • Average age of people in residential care centres is 87 years

    In 2018, 14% of the male population aged 85 and older lived in residential care centres; for women this share amounted to 27%.

    1% of the population aged 65 to 74 years lived in residential care centres.

    Compared with 2008, these figures have remained stable.

    In 2018, the average age of residents in a residential care centre was 87 years. The male residents were on average 85 years, the female residents 87 years. In comparison with 2008, the average age has increased by 2 years: from 85 to 87 years. The increase among men is relatively larger than that among women. In 2008, men were on average aged 83 and women 86 years.

  • 4 out of 5 residents of residential care centres are heavily care-dependent

    In 2018, 81% of the residents of residential care centres had a severe care-dependency profile. The remaining 19% needed no or only minor care.

    In 2008, the proportion of residents with a severe care-dependency profile was lower; at the time their share stood at slightly less than 70%.

  • Proportion of elderly in residential care centres highest in the south of West and East Flanders

    In 2018, the share of people over 65 in residential care centres was highest in the southern districts of West and East Flanders, with shares above 6%. The shares are lowest in the coastal districts and in the eastern part of Limburg, with percentages hovering around 4%.

  • Proportion of elderly people in residential care centres in Flemish Region lower than in other regions

    In 2018, the share of over-65s in residential care centres was lowest in the Flemish Region (5%) and highest in the Brussels-Capital Region (8%). The Walloon share is between these two (6%).


Inter Mutualistic Agency (IMA): IMA-atlas


Care-dependency profile: A care-dependency profile in elderly care refers to the care need of a person who lives and is cared for in a residential care centre. 

Publication date

9 June 2020

Next update

14 April 2021

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