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Trends in informal care in Great Britain during the 1990s

The population of adult carers in Great Britain declined during the 1990s while the proportion of those heavily involved in providing informal care increased. The intensification of care-giving was associated with an increasing number of caring relationships that typically make heavy demands on the carer: spouse care and caring for a child or parent. The provision of informal care by friends and neighbours diminished resulting in an overall decline in care-giving between households. However, parents were increasingly looked after in their own homes by non-resident daughters. More women than men withdrew from the less intensive care-giving between households while more men than women took on the role of a spouse carer. By the end of the decade, as many men as women provided informal care for a spouse or partner. If the trends identified here continue beyond the study period, increasing resources will be required to identify heavily involved carers, assess their needs, and support them in their caring activities. The findings are based on secondary analysis of the British Household Panel Survey covering the years 1991–1998. As well as charting trends in the prevalence of informal care, changes in the locus of care, the number of care recipients, their relationship to their carer and the amount of time devoted to caring activities are described and interpreted.

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Health and Social Care in the Community

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Social care online
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