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Informal Cost of Dementia Care – A Proxy-Good Valuation in Ireland



    (University of Limerick)


This paper values the informal costs of dementia care in Ireland based on recently agreed national costing framework. Drawing on a survey of 270 Irish dementia caregivers, the hours of informal care per day are estimated using variables of individual characteristics, functional limitations and behavioural problems. This estimation finds that an interlinked workcohabitation effect significantly predicts the total informal care available and suggests that increasing burden on carers may alter overall welfare. Given conflict in carers’ personal priorities, this paper calculates the market value of formal services to inform equitable distribution of dementia care required. By associating “proxy-good’ market values to dementia symptoms requiring specific types of care, the per diem costs of care are estimated to range from €240.96 (early-stage) to €570.04 (late-stage). As burnout is a major risk factor in prolonged care, this paper indicates the formal value of the output of care from a public health service perspective. Policy initiatives to improve technical and allocative efficiency of formal dementia services are required to reduce reliance on informal care.

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  • Dominic Trépel, 2011. "Informal Cost of Dementia Care – A Proxy-Good Valuation in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 42(4), pages 479-503.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:42:y:2011:i:4:p:479-503

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Torrance, George W. & O'Brien, Bernie J. & Stoddart, Greg L., 2005. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198529453.
    2. K. Bolin & B. Lindgren & P. Lundborg, 2008. "Informal and formal care among single‐living elderly in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 393-409, March.
    3. Brouwer, Werner B.F. & Exel, N. Job A. van & Berg, Bernard van den & Bos, Geertruidis A.M. van den & Koopmanschap, Marc A., 2005. "Process utility from providing informal care: the benefit of caring," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 85-99, September.
    4. Koopmanschap, Marc A. & Rutten, Frans F. H. & van Ineveld, B. Martin & van Roijen, Leona, 1995. "The friction cost method for measuring indirect costs of disease," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 171-189, June.
    5. Netten, Ann & Davies, Bleddyn, 1990. "The Social Production of Welfare and Consumption of Social Services," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 331-347, July.
    6. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
    7. Agüero-Torres, H. & Fratiglioni, L. & Guo, Z. & Viitanen, M. & Von Strauss, E. & Winblad, B., 1998. "Dementia is the major cause of functional dependence in the elderly: 3- year follow-up data from a population-based study," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 88(10), pages 1452-1456.
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