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Assisted living a cheaper option to retirement homes?

Austria's welfare system will be stretched to breaking point by caring for the elderly unless more effort was made to allow people to live at home.

According to Christian Struber, executive director of the housing managers association, Austria's social welfare system has to be reformed when it comes to assisted living.

People in need of care who live in retirement homes cost the social welfare system four times more than people who need care but can still look after themselves at home he said.

Due to the highly charged budget for social welfare Struber emphasizes the importance of launching more projects for assisted living.

Struber, who is also the executive director of the residential building company in Salzburg, points out that in the federal state of Salzburg there are 24,000 people alone who receive care allowance.

Of those, 5,000 people dwell in retirement homes and 19,000 live at their own flat or house and are taken care of by relatives.

Some 4,000 of the last group are in need of support of nursing care and receive 3,000 each per year.

In comparison, people living in retirement homes cost the social welfare system 13,000 Euros each per year. This is due to the higher costs that occur in retirement homes.

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