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Care in times of COVID-19: The impact of the pandemic on informal caregiving in Austria

Autor(en)
Ricardo Rodrigues, Cassandra Simmons, Andrea E. Schmidt, Nadia Steiber
Abstrakt

Much attention has been paid to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care but the impact on informal caregivers has remained speculative. In Austria, like in other European countries, informal care is carried out overwhelmingly by (non-cohabiting) relatives. Limited care services available during the pandemic, social-distancing, increased unemployment and competing care needs within households (e.g., due to school closures) may have changed the prevalence and intensity of informal caregiving. Moreover, these changes may have increased the psychological strain experienced by caregivers. Focusing on Austria, this study aims to empirically analyse the following research questions: how have the prevalence and intensity of informal care changed due to the pandemic? How has the psychological wellbeing of informal caregivers been affected? We use a pre- and post-onset of the pandemic research design based on a representative survey carried out in Austria in June 2020 (N=2,000) in combination with comparable 2015 data from the European Social Survey. Findings suggest that neither prevalence nor intensity of informal care changed significantly due to the pandemic. However, the psychological wellbeing gap between carers and non-carers increased with the start of the pandemic, especially among men. Findings are discussed in relation to the policy measures implemented and possible policy implications for the future.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Soziologie
Externe Organisation(en)
Europäisches Zentrum für Wohlfahrtspolitik und Sozialforschung, Gesundheit Österreich GmbH
Journal
European Journal of Ageing
Band
18
Seiten
195–205
Anzahl der Seiten
11
ISSN
1613-9372
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-021-00611-z
Publikationsdatum
10-2020
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
303024 Pflegewissenschaft, 504002 Arbeitssoziologie
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Health(social science), Geriatrics and Gerontology
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/care-in-times-of-covid19-the-impact-of-the-pandemic-on-informal-caregiving-in-austria(f3b3b0ff-ebba-49e1-bc12-feca5cd796c9).html