This article documents the number of hours of help that seniors living in private households received from formal and/or informal sources in 1996.
Data are from Cycle 11 of the General Social Survey, conducted in 1996. This analysis focuses on 1,089 respondents aged 65 or older who, because of a long-term health problem, required assistance to remain in their homes and who indicated the source of assistance and the amount of help time received.
Analysis of variance, followed by Tukey's HSD test, was used to examine differences in help time received from each source. Medians are presented using an independent medians test. Linear regression was used to model associations between the amount of help time received from each source and certain characteristics.
In 1996, dependent seniors living in the community received a median of 3 hours of help a week. Most of this assistance came from informal sources. Living arrangements and age were the major influences on hours received from informal sources. Having no surviving children and being disabled in terms of dexterity or mobility/flexibility were associated with increased hours of formal care. For those getting both types of help, increased hours from formal sources did not significantly reduce the hours received from informal sources.