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Intergenerational transfers and informal care for disabled elderly persons in China: evidence from CHARLS

Intergenerational transfers and informal care for disabled elderly persons in China: evidence from CHARLS
Intergenerational transfers and informal care for disabled elderly persons in China: evidence from CHARLS
Aiming at ‘ageing healthier and ageing better’, a certain amount of high-quality informal care should be available for elderly persons with physical disability as formal care is barely accessible in China. The demographic transition and family structural changes have dramatically weakened traditional norms of filial piety and the structure of intergenerational transfers. This article employed nationwide representative data from the first wave (2011) of Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in order to identify the duration of informal care provision at home for frail elders (1122 in rural areas and 577 in urban areas, total 1699), measured in monthly hours, before estimating the associations between intergenerational transfers and the received time of informal care with Tobit Model analysis. Results showed that financial support from the younger generation was unexpectedly negatively associated with the monthly hours of care, implying a reduction of caring support along with increasing financial transfers towards older parents. The lack of informal care could not be compensated by having more children, co-residing with children, or increasing the parent-to-child/grandchild transfers. Spouses were shown to replace children as the major caregivers. In addition, the community-based long-term care system needs to be promoted to sustain and develop informal care, as the latter will become increasingly important with changing family dynamics. Finally, the received time of informal care, rather than the severity of physical disability measured by difficulty with ADLs or IADLs, was introduced to identify the actual demand for care by elders. The paper argues that it is important to reconceptualise and re-investigate the duration of care provision in the Chinese context in order to develop standards of payment as part of long-term care policies.
CHARLS, disabled elderly persons, informal care, intergenerational transfers
0966-0410
1364-1374
Liu, Xiaoting
a69c3d2b-0527-4587-bc89-432c985f8254
Lu, Bei
0eef5dc3-7c8a-46bd-87f0-9fe9e6643556
Feng, Zhixin
33c0073f-a67c-4d8a-9fea-5a502420e589
Liu, Xiaoting
a69c3d2b-0527-4587-bc89-432c985f8254
Lu, Bei
0eef5dc3-7c8a-46bd-87f0-9fe9e6643556
Feng, Zhixin
33c0073f-a67c-4d8a-9fea-5a502420e589

Liu, Xiaoting, Lu, Bei and Feng, Zhixin (2017) Intergenerational transfers and informal care for disabled elderly persons in China: evidence from CHARLS. Health & Social Care in the Community, 25 (4), 1364-1374. (doi:10.1111/hsc.12441).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aiming at ‘ageing healthier and ageing better’, a certain amount of high-quality informal care should be available for elderly persons with physical disability as formal care is barely accessible in China. The demographic transition and family structural changes have dramatically weakened traditional norms of filial piety and the structure of intergenerational transfers. This article employed nationwide representative data from the first wave (2011) of Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in order to identify the duration of informal care provision at home for frail elders (1122 in rural areas and 577 in urban areas, total 1699), measured in monthly hours, before estimating the associations between intergenerational transfers and the received time of informal care with Tobit Model analysis. Results showed that financial support from the younger generation was unexpectedly negatively associated with the monthly hours of care, implying a reduction of caring support along with increasing financial transfers towards older parents. The lack of informal care could not be compensated by having more children, co-residing with children, or increasing the parent-to-child/grandchild transfers. Spouses were shown to replace children as the major caregivers. In addition, the community-based long-term care system needs to be promoted to sustain and develop informal care, as the latter will become increasingly important with changing family dynamics. Finally, the received time of informal care, rather than the severity of physical disability measured by difficulty with ADLs or IADLs, was introduced to identify the actual demand for care by elders. The paper argues that it is important to reconceptualise and re-investigate the duration of care provision in the Chinese context in order to develop standards of payment as part of long-term care policies.

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Accepted/In Press date: 10 January 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 March 2017
Published date: July 2017
Keywords: CHARLS, disabled elderly persons, informal care, intergenerational transfers
Organisations: Gerontology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 407146
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/407146
ISSN: 0966-0410
PURE UUID: 1eb35ddf-502b-480b-aad3-846697c9563e

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2017 01:08
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 06:17

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Contributors

Author: Xiaoting Liu
Author: Bei Lu
Author: Zhixin Feng

University divisions

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