Attitudes towards bearing the cost of care in later life across the world

Khan, Hafiz T.A. ORCID:, Leeson, George W. and Findlay, Helen (2013) Attitudes towards bearing the cost of care in later life across the world. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 21 (1). pp. 49-69. ISSN 1054-1373

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The ageing population is recognised by many as a unique global phenomenon and has become a subject of interest among multidisciplinary professionals. Perhaps one of the most common key concerns among individuals and family members in many countries today is to meet the increasing demand for elderly healthcare. As the socioeconomic, demographic and cultural context of populations varies from one setting to another, the intergenerational support as well as responsibility for the cost of care also varies across the globe. In particular, issues related to elderly healthcare financing and support are growing steadily and are becoming dominant topics in social gerontology.
The aim of this study is to examine the effects of age, gender and employment on the perceptions of people with regard to their own care costs in later life. The data for the study come from the global ageing study (GLAS), popularly known as “The Future of Retirement”. The initial field surveys were completed in two successive years - 2004 and 2005 – and involved interviewing around 22,329 individuals aged 18 years and over across twenty countries and territories covering four major regions of the world. A cross-sectional survey design was employed in which respondents were selected randomly. Each respondent was asked a number of questions on their socioeconomic and demographic situation; their retirement and pension plans; health, wellbeing and quality of life, and voluntary contributions and intergenerational support. Among others two questions were asked directly about the responsibility of the financial cost of care in retirement and these were: “who should bear” as well as “who will bear” most of the financial costs of care in retirement. These questions were then further explored to see how the responses varied with respect to the age, gender and employment status of the respondents. It has been shown that age, gender and employment status play significant roles in determining people’s perceptions towards bearing the cost of care in retirement or old age. There is a significant gap between the respondents’ perceptions of who “should” and “will” bear the cost of care. The paper concludes with a brief discussion on policy implications.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.2190/IL.21.1.e
Keywords: Cost of care in later life; elderly health care; global aging survey
Subjects: Medicine and health > Health promotion and public health
Medicine and health
Social sciences
Depositing User: Hafiz T.A. Khan
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 13:36
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:53

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