Trends and determinants of informal and formal caregiving in the community for disabled elderly people in Taiwan

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Although family caregiving for elderly people has been the backbone of long-term care in Taiwan, it is not clear whether informal help from family members has diminished in recent years due to changes in social structure and traditions. The objective of this study is to examine the trend and the factors influencing the use of informal and formal caregiving among disabled elders in the community of Taiwan. Data were drawn from three waves of the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (TLSA) (1999, 2003, and 2007) to examine the receipt of help with activities of daily living (ADLs) in a nationally representative sample of Taiwanese elderly people aged 65 and older. Results showed the trend in having at least 1 of 6 ADL limitations in the community increased mildly in the past decade but a significant rise in the use of paid help compared to informal help between 1999 and 2007. Factors associated with higher likelihood of paid help use included better socio-economic status and more ADLs. However, those living with spouse only were much less likely to use paid help than those living with adult children. Findings suggest that future long-term care (LTC) policy in Taiwan should focus more on providing elders who live alone or with spouse only additional caregiving resource. Given the rapid growth of foreign care workers as primary source of caregiving, the government needs further monitoring to promote care quality and also strategies to develop needs-led home and community based care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of gerontology and geriatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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