Publication details

Is providing informal care a path to meaningful and satisfying ageing?



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source European Societies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Caregiving; quality of life; active ageing; SHARE; cross-national research
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Description This study examines the relationship between the provision of informal care and three specific feelings important in later life – loneliness, meaningfulness of life, and overload. The paper contributes to the research of this frequently studied topic through examining effects of the intensity and multiplicity of care as well as the availability of formal care at the national level to consider the complexity and context-dependence of the effect of caregiving. Data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe for 14 countries is analysed using multilevel regression with important domains of subjective quality of life in older ages as dependent variables. The general effect of providing care is enhancing and this effect is even more pronounced for multiple caregiving. However, this beneficial effect is not significant for very intensive care. Further, higher availability of formal care increases the quality of life, but reduces the beneficial effect of caregiving on loneliness. Overall, the theory of role accumulation is more suitable to explain the provision of care at older ages than the theory of role strain, but the crucial factor for understanding the effect of caregiving is context-sensitivity.
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