Like most countries in Europe, Austria and Slovenia rely heavily on the family for the provision of long-term care (LTC). They differ, however, as to the nature and scope of support provided to family carers (more generous in Austria while in Slovenia, the family is the carer “by default”). This study uses the different institutional settings between the two countries to gain a better understanding of how older people make their choices regarding care, namely,
- who provides care and which type of tasks;
- which are the factors impacting their choices (e.g. cultural values, financial constraints, preferences, household composition);
- how are these factors themselves shaped by public policies; and
- whether they are different between groups of LTC users (e.g. socio-economic conditions)?
To this end, a mixed-methods methodology was decided. On the one hand, this includes quantitative research methods applied on secondary data (i.e. SHARE data) to estimate determinants of caregiving and care-receiving across socio-economic groups as well as to study growing inequalities in care provision by education among older working-age women in Austria, following the pension reform of the early 2000s. On the other hand, this is complemented by a qualitative study on dyads (users of long-term care and their family carers) and their use of different forms of care. This latter study focuses on the role of family ties and life-course trajectories in determining choices made within dyads.
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia