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The effects of marital and parental status on informal support and service utilization: A study of older Swedes living alone
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2004 (English)In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 0890-4056, Vol. 18, no 2, 231-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Never-married individuals and childless persons living alone are at greater risk of having insufficient support in old age. This study investigated whether community-dwelling older people, living alone in an urban area of Sweden, benefit from having been previously married and having had children in terms of informal care received, and whether those without such filial support were compensated by formal services. The study sample consisted of 390 persons, 81 years and older, who were interviewed about family support and the use of public eldercare and market-based services. The study showed that parents had considerably higher odds of receiving informal support, whereas previously married individuals without children were no more likely to receive support than their never-married counterparts. Public home-help services did not fully buffer the lack of care among childless individuals. This indicates that even in an advanced welfare state like Sweden, children are assets for receipt of care in old age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 18, no 2, 231-244 p.
Keyword [en]
Marital and parental status, Informal support, Service utilization
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22760DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2004.01.001OAI: diva2:189393
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109Available from: 2004-04-22 Created: 2004-04-22 Last updated: 2010-08-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. According to need?: Predicting use of formal and informal care in a Swedish urban elderly population
Open this publication in new window or tab >>According to need?: Predicting use of formal and informal care in a Swedish urban elderly population
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation studies factors that predict use of public eldercare, informal care, and purchase of private services in relation to an individual’s needs, social network characteristics, and sociodemographic factors. A further purpose is to examine whether use of public eldercare is correlated to receipt of informal care and purchase of private services in the Swedish welfare state.

The dissertation is based on the Kungsholmen Study, a population-based longitudinal study. Studies I–III used cross-sectional data from community-dwelling people aged 81-100 and examined (I) gender, (II) marital and parental status, and (III) dementia and depressive symptoms as predictors of use of home help. Study IV analyzed factors related to moving into institutional care and receipt of home help from 1994/96 to 2000.

The majority of support provided to elders living in the community comes from informal sources, even among people living alone. There was considerable overlap between home help and informal care. When all sources of care were considered, childless individuals had comparatively lower odds of receiving care. Factors predicting use of public eldercare and informal care differed depending on whether or not elders coresided. No gender differences in use of formal and informal care were found when controlling for household composition. Living alone, dementia, need of help with household chores, and walking limitations increased the likelihood of using public eldercare. Coresidence, informal care from outside the household, and use of private services decreased the likelihood. Depressive symptoms increased the likelihood of receiving home help and institutionalization when using longitudinal data, but not in the cross-sectional studies. Educational level was of importance and interacted with several factors; persons with higher levels of education were advantaged. Very few people moved into institutional care without previously having received home help services. Essentially the same factors that predicted receipt of home help services also predicted institutionalization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete - Socialhögskolan, 2004. 88 p.
Stockholm studies in social work, ISSN 0281-2851 ; 20
home-based care, community-based services, predicting use of eldercare, home-help services, informal care, institutionalization, dementia, depression
National Category
Social Work
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109 (URN)91-7265-862-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-05-14, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveaplan, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2004-04-22 Created: 2004-04-22 Last updated: 2010-03-03Bibliographically approved

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