Care dependency policies in a european perspective selected issues
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Care dependency policies in a European perspective – Selected Issues. Bratislava, December 3rd 2009. Manfred Huber, Ricardo Rodrigues, Frédérique Hoffmann, Katrin Gasior and Bernd Marin. Portrait of Informal Carers Challenges to avoid future Care Gaps

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Care dependency policies in a European perspective – Selected Issues

Bratislava, December 3rd 2009

Manfred Huber, Ricardo Rodrigues, Frédérique Hoffmann, Katrin Gasior and Bernd Marin

Portrait of Informal Carers

Challenges to avoid future Care Gaps

Further Research & Preliminary Conclusions

Portrait of Informal Carers

More than 80% of all care is provided by family carers

By choice?

By love?

By constraint?

By opportunity?

Who cares?

Relationship between the carer and the care recipient in percentage

Source: OECD (2005); National Sources for Israel and the Slovak Republic; EUROFAMCARE national reports (2004).

Labour of love

Family help as a percentage of help to people aged 75+ by country and domain, 2000/2001

Source: EUROFAMCARE and national sources.

Other types of help

  • In Russia financial support ‘is the most widespread form of help that older parents receive from their adult children (Kholostova, 2002 p.16).

  • Help in running a farm as a subsistence means is also more widespread in Eastern Europe

It‘s a Woman‘s World

Family carers by gender and country

Regardless of „care regimes“

Source: National sources, OECD (2005) and EUROFAMCARE national reports.

Carers: United in Diversity

Percentage of the population aged 15+ providing informal care to a relative aged 60+ (1999)

Intimacy at a

distance in the North

Sharing roof and care in the South

Source: Own calculations based on Walker (1999).

Loneliness in very old-age...

Living arrangements for older people, by gender (based on 2001 Census data)

Older Northern Europeans likely to live alone…

Greece – Total 65+

Source: Karagiannaki (2005)

… unlike older Southern Europeans (albeit less and less so)

Source: UNDESA/Population Division (2005), Eurostat 2001 Census data.

What Children Want

Older people want to age in place but...

Question 7a: If your elderly parent lives alone and needs long-term care, what in your opinion would be the best option?

Source: Eurobarometer (2008), question: 7a.

Overburdened Carers?

EUROBAROMETER (2007):In your opinion, do dependent older people rely too much on their relatives?

Lack of care services…

Providing care to co-residents…

Heavy care…

… explaining carers’ burden?

Source: EUROBAROMETER (2007)

  • Full-time carers are likely to experience some degree of isolation and/or psychological distress (depression, anxiety…)

  • Countries from the NMS who feel they should take care of the elderly themselves also report high levels of over-reliance

Ageing Carers

  • They could endanger their own physical & mental health: In Italy 10% of care is provided by the 80+

  • In Kyrgyz Rep. with high levels of emigration, older people are carers of their this also a pattern for other ‘donor’ countries?

Challenges to avoid future

‘care gaps’

A mid-life Occupation

Providing care for older family members by country and age group

Source: OECD (2005), EUROFAMCARE national reports.

  • Age group with the largest share of informal carers is the 45-64 year olds

  • This group is also being courted through the Lisbon Agenda to remain longer in the labour market...particularly women.

Reconciliation of care and paid work

  • Employment status of main carers by country and domain

Source: National sources, EUROFAMCARE national reports, Lamura et al. (2006).

  • Across the EU on average just over 40% of informal carers were in gainful employment

  • Many caregivers end their professional career (50% in the NL) or reduce their hours of work as a result of caring.

Advantages of remaining in paid work

  • Income and pension rights

  • Helps to maintain social networks

  • Offers a temporary relief from caring role

  • Enhances self-esteem

  • Offers the opportunity to share concerns with colleagues in a similar situation

  • But…financial help to family carers varies among countries

What might carers look like in the future?

Demographics bound to change picture

“Support ratio”: number of women aged 45-64 for each 80 year-old (2006 or 2005)

  • Gender mainstreaming in policies (or lack of)

  • Conciliating support for carers and employment policies

Source: Eurostat

The demographic future of CARERs has already started – older and more often male

Average age of carers

Source: EUROFAMCARE national reports (2004).

The migrant carer to compensate for family care

  • 15-20% of all Italians needing long-term care are cared for by “badanti” – migrant, mostly female carers from Ukraine, Romania...

  • Austria has ‘legalised’ the so-called 24-hours care both in terms of labour law and in terms of nursing legislation

  • Support and integration of migrant carers

Thought-provoking questions

  • Ageing of carers: will (healthier) 65+ spouses take over from their daughters and daughters-in-law?

  • Reconciliation of work and care duties…reconciliation of employment policies and support for care

  • Who will take care of the elderly living in the donor countries?

Further information

European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

Berggasse 17 | A-1090 Vienna


[email protected]

Thank you for your attention!

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