Will Future Elderly Have Any Relative Available to Care for Them? a Study Based on a Mixed Micro-Simulation/ABM Model

Nuria Calduch Verdiell, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Daniel Devolder, Centre of Demographic Studies (Barcelona)
Jeroen Spijker, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
Pilar Zueras, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)

In this paper we introduce a mixed micro-simulation AMB model called DEMOCARE designed to model care supply-demand dynamics for older dependent persons in function of demographic change. The model simulates the lifecycle of a cohort of individuals (called EGOs) and of their close relatives until their death. Each year they are at risk of falling into different states of dependency and as a result require a certain number of hours of care. The model explores the EGO’s family network to ascertain whether there are relatives who can fulfil this demand. Specifically, DEMOCARE allows more detailed examination of the effects of low birth rates, increasing life expectancy and changing family structures on old-age care supply for Spanish cohorts born in 1928, 1938, 1948, 1958 and 1968, distinguishing between formal (professional) and informal (performed by family members) care. The modelling of these social changes and their use in our model will allow constructing possible future scenarios and will also permit going through what-if questions. For example, what if there was an improvement of 2%, 5% and 10% in disability prevalence (across all levels of dependency)?; or what if there was an improvement only in the prevalence of mild and moderate dependency but prevalence of severe dependency remained constant? This should have implications on demand for formal care as, according to previous studies, informal care substitutes formal care if disability of the elderly is not severe. Likewise, a transition of a parent into a dependency level could affect their children’s labour trajectory. Hence, we also consider the probability of an agent to maintain or reduce their time in paid work when one of her/his parents falls into a dependency state.

Presented in Session 58: Population Ageing and Financial, Human and Social Capital