Gender Disparities in the Receipt of Home Care for Elderly People with Disability in the United States

TitleGender Disparities in the Receipt of Home Care for Elderly People with Disability in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKatz, SJ, Kabeto, MU, Langa, KM
JournalThe Journal of the American Medical Association
Call Numberpubs_2000_Katz_SJAMA.pdf
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Disabilities, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare, Methodology

CONTEXT: Projected demographic shifts in the US population over the next 50 years will cause families, health care practitioners, and policymakers to confront a marked increase in the number of people with disabilities living in the community. Concerns about the adequacy of community support are particularly salient to women, who make up a disproportionate number of disabled elderly people and who may be particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to live alone with limited financial resources. OBJECTIVE: To address gender differences in receipt of informal and formal home care. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Nationally representative survey conducted in 1993 among 7443 noninstitutionalized people (4538 women and 2905 men) aged 70 years or older. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Number of hours per week of informal (generally unpaid) and formal (generally paid) home care received by survey participants who reported any activity of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) impairment (n = 3109) compared by gender and living arrangement and controlling for other factors. RESULTS: Compared with disabled men, disabled women were much more likely to be living alone (45.4 vs 16.8 , P .001) and much less likely to be living with a spouse (27.8 vs 73.6 , P .001). Overall, women received fewer hours of informal care per week than men (15.7 hours; 95 confidence interval CI , 14.5-16.9 vs 21.2 hours; 95 CI, 19. 7-22.8). Married disabled women received many fewer hours per week of informal home care than married disabled men (14.8 hours; 95 CI, 13.7-15.8 vs 26.2 hours; 95 CI, 24.6-27.9). Children ( 80 women) were the dominant caregivers for disabled women while wives were the dominant caregivers of disabled men. Gender differences in formal home care were small (2.8 hours for women; 95 CI, 2.5-3.1 vs 2.1 hours for men; 95 CI, 1.7-2.4). CONCLUSION: Large gender disparities appear to exist in the receipt of informal home care for disabled elderly people in the United States, even within married households. Programs providing home care support for disabled elderly people need to consider these large gender disparities and the burden they impose on families when developing intervention strategies in the community.

Endnote Keywords

Activities of Daily Living/Disabled Persons/Family/Female/Geriatrics/Home Care Services/Utilization/Home Nursing/Utilization/Regression Analysis/Sex Distribution/Support, Non U.S. Government/Support, U.S. Government--PHS/United States/Epidemiology

Endnote ID


Citation Key6699