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Informal Elderly Caregiving and Time Spent on Leisure: Evidence from Time Use Survey

This paper examines the risk of time poverty defined as leisure participation among informal caregivers of adults and older people. We draw on the most recent time use survey conducted in Poland, which incorporated more than 28,000 households in 2013. We assess the extent to which caregivers are more likely to experience shortages of time spent on physical activity, hobbies, and social life. Additional information about respondents' time preferences allows us to examine not only the objective and relative time deficits of caregivers, but also the subjective and expressed ones. We distinguish between co-resident caregivers and those living outside the household of care recipients, simultaneously accounting for the differences between male and female caregivers, as well as care provided during working days (Monday-Friday), and that provided on weekends (Saturday-Sunday). Our results indicate that caregivers for adults are in general more likely to allocate less time to physical activity, hobbies, and their social lives. This effect, however, is observed primarily among co-resident caregivers, both male and female. The leisure time of caregivers is more noticeably affected during weekends than on working days. Concurrently, caregivers are more likely to admit that they wish to spend more time on different forms of leisure activity. This confirms the hypothesis of a trade-off between time allocated to elderly care and that allocated to self-care, which can be detrimental to the health, life satisfaction, and wellbeing of informal caregivers.

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Ageing International
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