Formal and informal support: the great divide

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1999 Mar;14(3):183-92; discussion 192-6.


As we approach the next century, it is clear that neither formal services nor informal family caregivers can meet the needs of a growing population. It is therefore pertinent to reconceptualize the linkages between formal and informal care and move towards an integrative model. This paper explores several models of such an interface that exist in the literature and proposes that many of these overlap. Various predictors of formal service use are also explored, with an emphasis on the outcomes of both the informal caregiver and the care recipient. Implications for future research include further exploring and understanding the link between formal and informal support and the need to increase receipt of formal care among family caregivers.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers*
  • Community Health Services / trends
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Dementia
  • Forecasting
  • Health Services for the Aged / trends*
  • Humans
  • Social Support*