Informal Long-Term Care in the European Union

End of 2019, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL) commissioned a consortium led by Ecoys NL and the Erasmus University Rotterdam to conduct a study on the incidence and costs of informal long-term care (LTC) in the European Union. The aims of this study are to define informal LTC, to quantify the incidence and the costs related to informal LTC, and to analyse the impact of informal caregiving regarding the employment, income, and wellbeing of informal care givers and the macroeconomic impact for the labour market and welfare state.

In order to quantify incidence and costs related to informal LTC and to analyse the impacts of informal caregiving, to assess care-giving and –receiving of specific subgroups and to correlate care-giving with social and economic outcome measures, the research group analysed several relevant datasets, including SHARE. Since SHARE is one of the only datasets that covers multiple countries and provides information on the type of informal care given, as well as the frequency and the receiver of the care given, SHARE data was essential for this project. Further, SHARE’s longitudinal set-up makes it possible to assess changes in caregiving and other variables over time.

The final report including all results is expected to be published in 2021 by the European Commission.