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Linkages between informal and formal care-givers in home-care networks of frail older adults

  • MARIANNE JACOBS (a1), THEO VAN TILBURG (a1), PETER GROENEWEGEN (a2) and MARJOLEIN BROESE VAN GROENOU (a1)

Abstract

In ageing societies, policy makers aim for more contact between informal and formal care-givers as it may enhance the quality of care. So far, the linkage between formal and informal care-givers is generally studied from a one-sided or a single dyadic perspective, without taking into account that care networks of community-dwelling older adults often exist of multiple informal and formal care-givers. The current study examines discussion of care between all potential informal–formal care-giver dyads in a care network, and relates this to characteristics of the older care recipient, the care network and the care-givers. Seventy-four Dutch older care recipients provided information on all care-givers who helped with five different types of tasks; 410 care-givers reported on the contact between all care-givers identified. Multi-level logistic regression was conducted in 2,150 informal–formal care-giver dyads and revealed that in 26 per cent of all these dyads discussion on care occurred. This was more likely when both care-givers performed multiple types of tasks, the informal care-giver was residing with the care recipient, and contact within the formal and the informal sub-network was higher. To enhance discussion of care between informal and formal care-givers in care networks where no discussion occurs at all, home-care organisations may need to allocate formal care-givers who form a bridge with an extra-residential care-giver of care recipients living alone.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Marianne Jacobs, Department of Sociology, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands E-mail: m.t.jacobs@vu.nl

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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
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