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Gender, Household Composition and Receipt of Domiciliary Services by Elderly Disabled People*

  • Sara Arber, G. Nigel Gilbert and Maria Evandrou

Abstract

Using data from the 1980 General Household Survey, differences in the provision of statutory domiciliary services to disabled elderly people are explored. Domiciliary services vary in their degree of ‘substitutability’, that is, in the extent to which the care may be performed either by state services or by other members of the elderly person's household. Domestic support services are substitutable by any available carer; personal health and hygiene services are partially substitutable depending on the relationship between the carer and the cared for; and medical services are not substitutable by informal carers. The paper shows that discrimination by statutory services against women carers is dependent primarily on the household composition of the elderly person rather than on gender per se. Taking into account the level of disability of the elderly person, younger ‘single’ women carers receive no less support than ‘single’ men carers, but carers who are married women under 65 obtain the least domestic and personal health care support. Carers who are elderly receive more support than carers under 65. Among disabled elderly people who live alone, men receive somewhat more domestic and personal health services than women.

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Gender, Household Composition and Receipt of Domiciliary Services by Elderly Disabled People*

  • Sara Arber, G. Nigel Gilbert and Maria Evandrou

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