Home care for the elderly: Family, friends, and the state

This paper uses data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to examine the home care received by elderly in Western Europe. Specifically, we relate the demand for home care to the health status of the elderly household members and likeprevious studies find that health limitations, age, and marital status are important determinants of home care. New findings come from a detailed analysis of the relative demand from different potential home care providers (children, other relatives, friendsand the state). The results reveal that relatives and friends provide as much home care as children and that the relative importance of the different home care providers changes with household characteristics like age and total health care demand. Furthermore, the results show that friends act as a substitute for informal care from adult children.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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