Trade-Offs Between Formal Home Health Care and Informal Family Care Giving


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Abstract

Using 1994 National Long Term Care Survey data, we estimated logistic regressions of formal and informal home health care use and hours. Home health care use and intensity were differentially impacted by chronic conditions, are higher for Medicaid enrollees and rural or small town residents, but lower for HMO enrollees. Decreases in the probability of home health care use increased informal instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) support four hours and decreased informal activities of daily living (ADL) support eight hours weekly. IADL caregiving substituted for formal care, but ADL caregiving declined with reductions in formal care. Public policy reducing formal home health care access may reduce informal ADL caregiving and increase informal IADL caregiving, producing net declines in support.

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