The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea
We analyse the impact of the provision of care on the health and quality of life (QoL) of mature female informal caregivers using a representative sample drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We match each informal caregiver with a non-carer using Propensity Score matching and test whether matched individuals differ on self-assessed health and a functional indicator of QoL and whether this relationship differs across European regions. We find a North-South gradient both for self-assessed health and QoL and our results show that the provision of caregiving to close relatives in Europe impacts on the caregiversâ€™ quality of life and health in a way that depends on their geographical location, the degree of formal care and specific cultural and social factors of the area. We find that informal caregiving is a complex phenomenon which may bring both psychological rewards and distress to providers of care and this complexity, along with the geographical gradient highlight the importance of ensuring that policies match the needs of individual carers in their own geographical areas and cultural contexts.
|Date of creation:||May 2013|
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