The Indirect Costs of Long-term Care

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Rodrigues R., Schulmann K., Schmidt A., Kalavrezou N. and Matsaganis M.
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Europäisches Zentrum für Wohlfahrtspolitik und Sozialforschung

Informal care remains the most important source of care for dependent older people, although there are strong country differences across Europe. Most informal carers are either of working age (mostly daughters or daughters-in-law) or older people themselves providing care to their dependent spouses. From the public budget perspective, informal care is often seen as a cost-effective way of providing care. This vision, however, fails to acknowledge the indirect costs of informal care, namely forgone employment or health for informal carers. The research note presented here provides an overview of existing research into the effects of caring on the employment and health of carers, and into the benefits already available to carers in Europe. These include care services, cash benefits and leave for carers.