Policies Mediating the Social Context of the Disablement Process Among Older Europeans

Liili Abuladze, Estonian Institute for Population Studies, Tallinn University
Luule Sakkeus, Estonian Institute for Population Studies, Tallinn University
Adriana Santacroce, Sapienza Università di Roma

Successful ageing in the context of increasing life expectancies is one of the main research focuses in the population ageing domain. Only a minority of European countries have aged “successfully” in terms of healthy life years during the last decades. Moreover, successfully aged countries belong to different welfare regimes. Our main research question is: which policy measures are effective in balancing the country differences in the social network effects of the disablement process? We use data from the SHARE survey Waves 4 till 6 of people aged 50+ from 14 countries that participated in all three waves. Preliminary results from multinomial regression analysis indicate that satisfaction with social networks play a positive role against disability development, other social network aspects are related to maintaining the status quo of disability status as well as when limitations become more restrictive. Estonia and Germany have the highest risk of people staying in always severely limited situation, after controlling for demographic, health and social network variables. Estonia is the only country having significantly higher risk of people moving to more severe level of limitations. At the same time, Estonia and Germany have parallel existing trajectories – that of worsening as well as improving health. Further research will employ multilevel modelling to estimate the role of policies in disability outcomes. We will include the following macro-level variables: social protection expenditure, poverty of older people, general level of formal long-term care, out of pocket expenditure on health, general attitude towards older people.

Presented in Session 25: Population Ageing and Intergenerational Policies