Authors: Schmitz, Alina
Brandt, Martina
Title: Health limitations, regional care infrastructure and wellbeing in later life: a multilevel analysis of 96 European regions
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Background: In light of rapid population ageing across Europe, maintaining a high level of wellbeing in old age is a priority for social policy. Research on macro-level influences on wellbeing in the older population is rare, especially regarding heterogeneous effects within different groups, such as persons with and without health limitations. Objective: The purpose of this study is to shed light on the following questions: Is the regional availability of care infrastructure crucial for the wellbeing in later life? If so, does the relevance of care infrastructure differ depending on an individual’s health status? Methods: Data were drawn from wave 6 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) matched with data on the number of long-term care (LTC) beds on the regional level. We estimated multilevel regression models, including a cross-level interaction between individual health needs and regional LTC beds. Results: Our analyses show that the number of LTC beds is related to the wellbeing, as measured by overall life satisfaction, in the population aged 50 + years. The association is more pronounced for individuals with health limitations who might be in need of such infrastructure. Conclusions: Communities and local governments should ensure the necessary infrastructure for older individuals in need of care and help across different regions. The availability of formal care services may be perceived a “safety net” and thus improve wellbeing, but future studies need to investigate the underlying mechanisms.
Subject Headings: Life satisfaction
Long-term care beds
Macro-level influences
Old age
Subject Headings (RSWK): Zufriedenheit
Medizinische Versorgung
Issue Date: 2022-07-18
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Appears in Collections:Sozialstruktur und Soziologie alternder Gesellschaften

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