Elderly Women Caregiver: the Relationship between Their Health Profile and Welfare States

Project: A - Government Institutionb - Ministry of Science and Technology

Project Details


In many instances, elderly women caregivers are the ones providing majority of care within the family. Older women are an important source of primary informal caregiving for their elderly spouses. However, elderly women caregivers are a group that may have been overlooked in health care research. A triple jeopardy situation confronted the elderly women caregivers: facing decreasing health, economically and socially disadvantaged, and had to bear additional care burden and stress. These elderly women caregivers often face difficulties in accessing their rights and lack support. Frequently, they had barriers in accessing health care, lack financial means to cover basic needs, and unable to access social services. Little research has been conducted focusing on the elderly women caregivers The health profile of elderly women caregiver has rarely been described. The role of health and welfare system in alleviating their stress and burden is not clear. The health practices of these women, how they manage their own health while providing care, is not known. Yet, such knowledge is foundational to planning and testing effective interventions for this population. Thus, this research has three major purposes: it aims to present the personal and health profile of elderly women caregiver; this research will attempt to assess the changes in health among elderly women caregivers over time; and this research will attempt to assess if welfare state moderates the relationship between caregiving and health. Welfare states can provide health care, long-term care services, and preventive care, and other essential services, so that individual health may not be negatively affected. However, there is little evidence on how well welfare state can buffer the impact of caregiving stress from the elderly women caregivers. Various welfare states has different level of support for family caregivers, and this research will assess the variations in elderly women caregivers5 health across welfare states. Data for this research will come from Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). SHARE is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 45,000 individuals aged 50 or over. SHARE data provides excellent longitudinal data to observe changes over time, with data collection in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012. Considering the nature of the repeated measurements, mixed models with unstructured covariance matrix will be constructed. Then, a series of random intercept models will be constructed to accommodate the correlated errors within. The models will be run for each welfare regime separately to explore possible welfare regime differences in moderating the health of elderly women caregivers. Interactions between each predictor and welfare regimes will be tested. As the life expectancy increses, elderly women are at an increasing risk of failing health, limited resources, and the burden of caregiving altogether. Findings from this research can provide some evidence on the health of elderly women caregivers, the difficulties they face, and have significant policy implication on what to do to alleviating the difficult situations elderly women caregivers face.
Effective start/end date8/1/157/31/16


  • elderly women
  • caregiver
  • health
  • welfare state
  • moderating effect


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