In recent decades there has been a suggestion that public and private long-term care (LTC) expenditure might be replacing traditional family care for older people. The decline of family contact is known to be more advanced in some OECD countries than others, with southern Europe identified as where family contact is still strong. This article explores at a country level whether there is an association between levels of expenditure on long-term care and the vailability of family contacts. Qualitative Comparative Analysis is used as a comparative method, so as to use national quantitative indicators with a small sample of countries. An association between higher levels of family contact and lower levels of expenditure on LTC is suggested, but it is weakened by a number of untypical cases. Countries that defy this relationship have government care policies that seek to promote informal social care through the family contact that continues to be available. Austria, Canada, Great Britain and Japan are discussed in this context.
Bibliographical note© 2010 Blackwell Publishing
- older people
- long-term care
- qualitative analysis
- family contact