Household responses to public home care programs
A choice-theoretic model of household decision-making with respect to care-giving time allocations and the use of publicly and privately financed home care services is proposed. Predictions concerning the effect of increased availability of publicly financed home care services on home care utilization, informal care-giving, and health status are derived. These predictions are assessed through use of Canadian inter-provincial survey data on home care use and care-giving that are matched with data on home care funding for the period 1992 to 1998. Increased availability of publicly financed home care is associated with an increase in its utilization and a decline in informal care-giving, with this effect more pronounced among lower income Canadians. While self-reported health status was positively correlated with the increased availability of publicly financed home care, the perceived need for home care was invariant to this change.
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