Do Changes in Welfare and Health Policy Affect Life Satisfaction of Older Citizens in Europe?

Marinela Olaroiu, Ioana Dana Alexa, Wim J.A. Van Den Heuvel*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Objectives. Ageing of societies causes serious political concerns on well-being of old citizens and care for the (frail) old. These concerns increased with the economic crisis of 2008. In European countries policy measures were taken to deal with the consequences of this crisis. This study explores the possible effects of these measures on life satisfaction of older citizens. Methods. Life satisfaction was assessed through international surveys in 2007 and 2013 and changes in societal conditions, using eight indicators on demography, welfare, and health, are assessed in 31 European countries in 2006 and in 2014. Data are standardised and based on official, national surveys and statistics. Results. The former found that U-shape relationship between age and life satisfaction disappeared after the crisis. Negative changes in social protection and care arrangements, taken after the economic crisis, are related to low life satisfaction in old citizens. Conclusions. Various societal conditions deteriorated in 2014 as compared to 2006. Policy measures, taken due to the 2008 economic crisis, have changed societal conditions and affected life satisfaction of older citizens negatively. In countries with a rudimentary structure of health and welfare provisions old citizens could not cope with the imposed policy measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7574040
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25-Sep-2017

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