Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Private Care Networks in Europe


A new study based on data from the SHARE Corona Survey investigates how private care networks were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and provides new insights on the care situation across Europe.

The study by Bergmann & Wagner from the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) focuses on how the pandemic influences the situation of informal care across Europe during the first phase of the pandemic in spring 2020 to face the challenges of caregivers and care recipients. The SHARE study finds an increasing amount of caregiving from adult children to parents as well as mental health strains of these caregivers. In a nutshell:

  • One out of five care recipients reported difficulties in receiving care since the outbreak of the pandemic.
  • People with difficulties in receiving care reported more cancellations of medical treatments by themselves due to their fear of a COVID-19 infection.
  • More than every second parental caregiver aged 50 + reported an increase of personal care provision to their parents due to COVID-19.
  • Parental caregivers who increased their care activities due to COVID-19 felt twice as often depressive and anxious as those who did not increase parental caring.

>> Read more in our summary.

>> Read the study:  Bergmann, M. and M. Wagner (2021): Caregiving and Care Receiving Across Europe in Times of COVID-19. SHARE Working Paper Series 59-2021. Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA). Munich.