Informal and formal home-care use among older adults in Europe: can cross-national differences be explained by societal context and composition?
Broese Van Groenou, M.I.
Tilburg, T.G. van
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Cross-national comparisons used welfare state regimes to explain differences in care use in the European older population, yet these classifications do not cover all care-related societal characteristics and limit our understanding of which specific societal characteristics are most important. This study explores to the familialistic culture, welfare state context, and socio-economic and demographic composition add to our understanding of informal and formal care use of older adults in 11 European countries. Using the Survey of Ageing, Health and Retirement (2006), multilevel logistic regression analyses show that, in addition to individual determinants, societal determinants are salient for understanding informal and formal care use. In countries with a less familialistic culture, a high availability of home based services, a larger proportion of women in part-time work and a smaller proportion of 65 years and older in the population, older adults are more likely to receive formal home care, particularly when they have functional limitations. In countries with more residential care, more spending in pensions, more women in part-time employment and a more aged population, older adults with functional limitations are less likely to receive informal care. We can tentatively conclude that the incorporation of societal determinants rather than commonly used welfare state classifications yields more insight in factors that determine older adults informal and formal care use.