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Vienna Informal Carer Study 2008 (VIC2008)

Background of VIC2008

Being in need of long-term care (LTC) is a risk both young and older people are confronted with. This risk usually increases dramatically with age. Family members, partners, friends and neighbours play a major role in caring for frail, elderly and handicapped people. In Austria, about 430,000 people provide care on an informal basis.

Although informal care is important for many care arrangements of frail, ailing or handicapped people, there is a lack of information on various aspects of this kind of care provision. In Austria, empirical information on informal care and care arrangements were scarce at the national level and scarcer still at a regional level. The dearth of data on the sub-national-level was quite striking, especially in countries – such as Austria – where federal states are responsible for safeguarding access to care services.

Against this background, the Research Institute for Economics of Aging aimed at contributing towards the improvement of data and knowledge on formal and informal care for the elderly by generating and analyzing data on informal care in Vienna. Almost 20 % of all beneficiaries of the federal cash allowance for citizens in need of long-term care lived in the capital of Austria.

VIC2008 survey: The team of the Research Institute for Economics of Aging (Vienna University of Economics and Business) collected data from 3,000 people in Vienna who cared for an elderly relative or friend. Data was gained by means of a postal questionnaire administered to people age 60 and older who received the federal long-term care allowance. Care recipients were asked to pass the questionnaire to the main carer within the family. Data collection started in April 2008 and ended in June 2008.

The following research projects use data from the VIC2008 survey:

Programme dates: June 2007 – January 2010

Funder: City of Vienna - Directorate for Structural Development

Programme lead: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Schneider