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Article
Life on the Edge: Patterns of Formal and Informal Help to Older Adults in the United States and Sweden
Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences
  • Adam Davey
  • Elia E. Femia
  • Steven H. Zarit
  • Dennis G. Shea
  • Gerdt Sundström
  • Michael A. Smyer, Bucknell University
  • Jyoti Salva
Publication Date
9-1-2005
Volume
60
Issue
5
Abstract

Objectives

Our objective in this study was to compare assistance received by individuals in the United States and Sweden with characteristics associated with low, moderate, or high 1-year placement risk in the United States. Methods

We used longitudinal nationally representative data from 4,579 participants aged 75 years and older in the 1992 and 1993 waves of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) and cross-sectional data from 1,379 individuals aged 75 years and older in the Swedish Aging at Home (AH) national survey for comparative purposes. We developed a logistic regression equation using U.S. data to identify individuals with 3 levels (low, moderate, or high) of predicted 1-year institutional placement risk. Groups with the same characteristics were identified in the Swedish sample and compared on formal and informal assistance received. Results

Formal service utilization was higher in Swedish sample, whereas informal service use is lower overall. Individuals with characteristics associated with high placement risk received more formal and less informal assistance in Sweden relative to the United States. Discussion

Differences suggest formal services supplement informal support in the United States and that formal and informal services are complementary in Sweden.

Citation Information
Adam Davey, Elia E. Femia, Steven H. Zarit, Dennis G. Shea, et al.. "Life on the Edge: Patterns of Formal and Informal Help to Older Adults in the United States and Sweden" Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences (2005) p. S281 - S288
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_smyer/45/