Supporting Ageing Parents and Changes in Quality of Life in Sweden and Denmark
Emily Grundy, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Thijs van den Broek, London School of Economics and Political Science
Denmark and Sweden are often grouped together in welfare state typologies and presented as countries where the coverage of care services is much more generous than elsewhere in Europe. In recent decades, however, reforms have resulted in a marked divergence between the long-term care arrangements of Denmark and Sweden, with coverage remaining at higher levels in the former than in the latter country. We investigate whether these emergent country differences in the organization of long-term care have (1) resulted in country differences in the likelihood of adult children becoming providers of care to ageing parents, and (2) led to differences between Denmark and Sweden, and between time periods, in the quality of life of adult children who become caregivers for parents. Logistic regression analyses of four waves of SHARE data did not provide support for the hypothesis that Swedish adult children were more likely to become caregivers than their Danish counterparts. Fixed effects regression analyses showed that taking on the caregiver role was more detrimental for quality of life in Sweden than in Denmark. This finding may be related to support policies for caregivers being more extensive in Denmark than in Sweden.