Disease onset and family provision of help: evidence from the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing

John C. Henretta, University of Florida

This paper examines the implications of recent serious cardiovascular disease onset – a new heart attack, stroke, or congestive heart failure within the last two years – on family intergenerational time transfers using data from two waves of the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing (TILDA). The unexpected occurrence of a major health condition is likely to produce a reorganization across multiple life dimensions; and help to and from family members is likely to be affected. The data analysis compares households with and without a recent cardiovascular disease onset. Compared to households without a health event, affected households were less likely to provide any help rather than giving fewer hours of help. A recent health event is associated with receipt of more help from relatives but not from children. Children, however, provide higher levels of help in the presence of longer-term poor parental health. These findings may indicate that some relatives provide short-term help but children provide long-term help.

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 Presented in Session 60. Physical health of older adults