Health Status, Informal Care and Well-Being of Older People in Selected European Countries

Anita Abramowska-Kmon, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics
Maja Rynko, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics
Wojciech Łątkowski, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics

The issue of receiving informal care and support is very important in the context of population ageing and socio-economic changes. Health status and social support are significant determinants of subjective well-being. Not sufficient social support of its lack is detrimental for both health status and psychological well-being at all ages, including older adults. This paper examines the effect of health status and received informal care on well-being among people aged 65 years and more in selected European countries. We analyze the data coming from the 4th wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Well-being is captured by the short version of the CASP questionnaire (CASP-12), also use the information on depression symptoms (EURO-D scale) and general life satisfaction as proxy for well-being. The linear regression models were employed, since all dependent variables were treated as continuous ones. The results confirmed that deterioration of health status has a negative impact on well-being (in terms of CASP-12 and life satisfaction) and a positive effect on the number of depression symptoms. While receiving informal care (both from out of a household and within a household) was negatively related to well-being and positively to the depression index. It may be explained by the fact that informal care has a negative effect on psychological morale which may alter confidence in one’s abilities, self-esteem and lead to the resignation from some activities and therefore a deterioration in health status.

Presented in Session 1130: Ageing and Intergenerational Relations