The elderly and health care

All older people in Norway receive retirement pension. The amount of this pension varies according to past income.

Most older people in Norway live in their own home. Some receive assistance from the municipality (home nursing care, home aid, the possibility of attending a municipal adult day-care centre, etc.), but many manage on their own or with help from their family.

En eldre dame får medisinsk hjelp
When older individuals are no longer able to take care of themselves, they can move into a nursing home. But only half of elderly people over the age of 90 live at a nursing home.

Those who receive home nursing care and assistance pay a co-payment for these services. The municipality pays the remainder of the cost. The amount of the co-payment varies considerably from municipality to municipality.

Elderly persons living at a nursing home also pay a co-payment. Living at a nursing home costs around 800,000 crowns per year. The amount of co-payment paid is based on income.

Eldre person i rullestol Eldre mann på sykehjem

The elderly often have special health problems:

  • As we grow older, our bodies begin to wear down. We may experience pain in our muscles and joints and are unable to do as much as before. This can lead to depression and isolation.
  • Approx. 100,000 elderly people in Norway suffer from depression. This can be caused by poor health, but can also be due to loneliness and isolation.
  • It is common for older people to experience memory loss and many develop dementia. Dementia is the result of damage to the brain, resulting in changes to memory, emotional life and social functional ability.
  • Some people lose their appetite when they become older. They can become undernourished or malnourished. The immune system can weaken as a result, leaving them more vulnerable to disease and infection.



Public health

Public health in Norway has improved considerably over the past 100 years. This is largely due to the development of the welfare state and more and better opportunities to live a good, safe life. People in Norway today live longer than in the past. Many older people are also healthier than previous generations. As a result, they lead a healthy and active life longer.