Informal care vs. formal services: changes in patterns of care over time

UMMS Affiliation

New England Research Institutes



Document Type



Activities of Daily Living; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Community Health Services; Female; Health Services for the Aged; Homes for the Aged; Humans; Long-Term Care; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Nursing Homes; United States


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


Longitudinal data from a representative sample of community-residing older persons were used to document changes in patterns and costs of care, both informal and formal. It was found that use of formal services was usually in conjunction with, and secondary to, informal care. Limited availability of informal care as well as increased disability raised the odds of using services. Substitution of formal services for informal care was limited and usually temporary. Total costs of community care, including living expenses, were generally less than the cost of nursing home care.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: J Aging Soc Policy. 1996;7(3-4):71-91.

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID