Health

Age: who cares who, where and how?

Actually, it is gratifying that we are getting older and often in good health. Actually….

Care in old age

But actually it is also a fact that more and more people need care or at least support in everyday life. This help is provided to a very large extent by relatives and the private environment. Now, Ulrike Ehrlich and Nadiya Kelle, scientists at the German Center for Gerontology, have presented initial results from a question module they have developed for the innovation sample of the Socio-Economic Panel. On this basis, a more accurate picture of the private nurses.

Almost one in ten people aged 17 and over supports or cares for someone. Especially the 55 to 64 year olds provide help and care, among them 13 percent. Who is cared for, varies in the different age groups. In younger and middle adulthood, it is above all the parents or parents-in-law who are supported. On the other hand, from the age of 65, it is more often the partner or partner that people take care of. Also, the place where the support is provided, can now give more accurate information: The 17- to 64-year-olds help or maintain most often a person who lives in another household. In contrast, older people help or maintain a household member in almost half of the cases. The time required for help and care is highest for nurses over the age of 65, closely followed by the age group 40 to 54 years. Assistance and care for persons living in a care facility, retirement home or nursing home is most often provided by 55- to 64-year-olds.

The analyzes emphasize that even people living in a care facility are still dependent on support from their private environment. Nursing activities and assistance are not necessarily only taken in the immediate family (for parents, parents-in-law, partners or own children), but in many cases for other related and unrelated persons.


The results are based on data from the innovation sample of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP-IS) from the survey year 2016. The data used are representative of the German resident population over the age of 17 and allow for the first time detailed analyzes of nursing activities and arrangements within and outside of the own budget as well as in the institutional context.

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