Gender differences regarding opinions on long-term care arrangements: A study of community-dwelling older adults

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 Jul-Aug:83:195-203. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2019.03.018. Epub 2019 Apr 17.


Background: Numerous studies have attempted to identify predictors of institutionalization in the general population. Gender studies have led to inconsistent results. Some authors argued that older women were more likely than older men to use long-term care services, while others failed to highlight a specific gender effect on the use of long-term care services. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of gender on the preferences of older citizens for long-term care using a panel of disability situations.

Methods: We used a set of ten vignettes displaying disability situations with or without an able-bodied spouse present and used a population-based survey to inquire about appropriate long-term care. Participants were 3102 community-dwelling persons aged 68-83 years included in the representative Lausanne cohort 65+ study in January 2017. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to explore the effect of gender on long-term care choices by older men and women, controlling for the respondent's age and living arrangement.

Results: The respondents' choices shifted toward institutionalization when the disorder severity increased in vignettes and when there was no spouse able to help. Men were more likely to choose a home setting with caregiving only by spouse even when the level of disability increased. Women chose help from professionals, sheltered homes, or institutionalization more quickly than men.

Conclusions: Exploring gender preferences for long-term care arrangements is critical for improving and planning long-term care services.

Keywords: Gender preference; Long-term care; Older.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Institutionalization
  • Long-Term Care*
  • Male
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sex Characteristics