2014 Conference Presentation
The question of how health selects into caregiving activities of older people has been largely neglected in previous studies. This aspect is, however, important from an ‘active ageing’ perspective in that social participation can have positive effects on health, thus possibly contributing to primary, secondary and tertiary disease prevention strategies in old-age.
This paper aims to address this gap in the literature by analysing participation in two different types of informal caregiving: care to older adults and grandparenting. Using cross-sectional data from the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (wave 4, 2012/13) on people aged 65 years and older from 16 European countries, we analyse differences in factors that determine informal care provision by older people in good health compared to that provided by older people in poor health. Secondly, we are interested in how these determinants differ by type of informal caregiving activity, i.e. whether only care to older people is provided, whether only care to grandchildren is given, or whether both types of care occur. Methods of (multinomial) logistic regression analysis are used. The multidimensionality of the pathways determining care provision will be taken into account by including other forms of social participation, socio-economic conditions, different age groups and gender in the analysis. Finally, we will discuss the policy implications of the findings in view not only of the current debates to enhance active ageing, but also in the context of current policies to rely on informal care across Europe.