Socioeconomic Inequality in Long-Term Care: A Comparison of Three Time Periods in the Netherlands.

J. Abbing , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Marjolein I. Broese van Groenou, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Bianca Suanet, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

As a result of the rapid ageing of societies, meeting the demands for long-term care has become increasingly difficult. In the Netherlands, informal care has been recognized as a key-element to compensate cut-backs in public care provision. Formal, informal and privately paid long-term care services, however, are not used equally across socioeconomic groups and whether these inequalities have been reduced or exacerbated over time has not been researched. This study therefore aims at investigating to what extent differences in the of formal, informal and privately paid care have changed over time. Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) was used from three points in time that capture distinct periods in the recent development of the Dutch long-term care system (1995, 2005 and 2005). In total, 1810 home-dwelling age-peers between the age of 75 and 85 participated in this study. The results indicate that formal, informal and private care have decreased over time. The socioeconomic gradient in informal care and formal care use has increased over time, but no change was found for private care use. Informal care use decreased more steeply among lower socioeconomic groups, formal care increased only for the lower groups and private care was consistently used more by higher groups. These findings suggest that the inability of lower socioeconomic groups to receive private care is compensated by a more generous provision with formal care services.

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 Presented in Session 53. Inequalities in Care Received and Provided