Informal care in Belgium

Maria-Isabel Farfan-Portet, Patrick Deboosere, H. Van Oyen, Vincent Lorant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on the provision of care is mostly based on household sample surveys, which cannot measure the prevalence of caregiving in the general population. In order to appraise the individuals' involvement in the provision of informal care, specific questions on the care provided were included in Belgium's 2001 Census. Using data from the census we aim at analyzing how the provision and the amount of informal care, varies with respect to the individual's socio-economic characteristics. We found that 1 out 10 Belgians provide informal care. As expected, most caregivers can be found among middle-aged women. Yet, the percentage of men and women providing informal care at home is quite similar. The education level has an unexpected influence on the provision of care: more educated individuals are more likely to be caregivers while lesser educated individuals are more likely to provide more hours of care. Given that informal care is a valuable resource for meeting the care needs of today's societies, more attention should be given to the consequences of providing it. Indeed, not considering the negative aspects of providing informal care, such as the deterioration in the health status of caregivers or the competing demands between working and caring, can lead to a reduction of the amount of informal care provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-214
Number of pages28
JournalCahiers de Sociologie et de Démographie Médicales
Volume47
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • health care
  • Belgium
  • census

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