Determinants and characteristics of help provision for elderly people living at home and in relation to quality of life

Scand J Caring Sci. 2004 Dec;18(4):387-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2004.00291.x.


The aim of this study was to investigate determinants of help from informal or formal caregivers or a combination of both among people aged 75 or more and living at home, and the characteristics of the recipients, the help they received and their quality of life (QoL). The sample for this study was 448 elderly people, 75-99 years of age, living at home and receiving help with activities for daily living, instrumental or both instrumental and personal. Regression analysis showed high QoL not to be significantly related to who was providing the help, whilst it was related to higher age, living with someone, lower number of complaints and managing to be alone at home. Multinomial regression analysis showed age, number of children, number of complaints, the ability to stay alone at home and living alone to predict receiving help from different kinds of caregivers. Recipients receiving help from informal caregivers were younger, more often married and living together with someone, whilst those receiving help from both informal and formal caregivers had more help with instrumental and personal activities for daily living and were not able to stay alone at home as much as those receiving help from other kinds of caregivers. Those receiving help from formal caregivers had fewer children, were single and were living alone more often than the other recipients. Thus the responsibility for help for elderly people rests heavily on informal caregivers, whom it seems essential to support. As public service at home is preferably given to those living alone or able to stay alone at home, those without relatives may not be able to remain at home when their need of help increases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged / psychology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Caregivers*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / psychology*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sweden