This research seeks to understand 'how' and 'why' the relationship between formal and informal care for dependent older people living at home has changed over time in Britain.
The research will look initially at changes in the use of both informal care (help provided by family, friends, and neighbours) and formal services (assistance provided by health and social services), and combinations of both, for a variety of daily living needs over 20 years in Britain (1980-2001).
Six years of the General Household Survey (GHS) will be pooled together to determine the overall level of help provided to older people with needs living at home. Factors or 'determinants' from three categories: individual and household level; service levels; societal level will then be entered into the explanatory models and statistical software will determine how important each is in predicting the use of informal and formal care. The analysis will also show how changes in these factors have affected the utilisation of informal care and formal services and the relationship between both over time.