Adult children stepping in? Long-term care reforms and trends in children's provision of household support to impaired parents in the Netherlands

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Abstract

Recent long-term care (LTC) reforms in the Netherlands are illustrative of those taking place in countries with a universalistic LTC model based on extensive provision of state-supported services. They entail a shift from de-familialisation, in which widely available state-supported LTC services relieve family members from the obligations to care for relatives in need, to supported familialism, in which family involvement in care-giving is fostered through support and recognition for families in keeping up their caring responsibilities. Using data from four waves of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (N = 2,197), we show that between 2002 and 2014 the predicted probability that adult children provide occasional household support to impaired parents rose substantially. Daughters more often provided household support to parents than did sons, but no increase in the gender gap over time was found. We could not attribute the increase in children's provision of household support to drops in the use of state-supported household services. The finding that more and more adult children are stepping in to help their ageing parents fits a more general trend in the Netherlands of increasing interactions in intergenerational families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-137
Number of pages25
JournalAgeing and Society
Volume39
Issue number1
Early online date15 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements:
Financial support for this paper comes from the European Research Council “Families in Context” project (grant agreement No. 324211); The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 320116 for the research project FamiliesAndSocieties; The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC grant agreement no. 324055 (FAMHEALTH); The development of an enterprise like the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study requires investments that clearly surpass the financial means of individual institutions. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the ‘Major Investments Fund’ (grant 480-10-009) and the ‘Longitudinal Survey and Panel Fund’ (grant 481-08-008) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Financial and institutional support for the NKPS also comes from The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Faculty of Social Sciences (Utrecht University), the Faculty of Spatial Sciences (University of Amsterdam), the Faculty of Social Sciences (Tilburg University), and the Faculty of Social Sciences (Erasmus University Rotterdam). No ethical approval was required.

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