Populations globally are ageing, resulting in increased need for long-term care. Where social welfare systems are insufficient, these costs may fall to other family members. We set out to estimate the association between long-term care needs and family transfers in selected low- and middle- income countries.
We used data from the World Health Organization’s Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). Using regression, we analysed the relationship between long-term care needs in older households and i) odds of receiving net positive transfers from family outside the household and ii) the amount of transfer received, controlling for relevant socio-demographic characteristics.
The proportion of household members requiring long-term care was significantly associated with receiving net positive transfers in China (OR: 1.76; p = 0.023), Ghana (OR: 2.79; p = 0.073), Russia (OR: 3.50; p < 0.001). There was a statistically significant association with amount of transfer received only in Mexico (B: 541.62; p = 0.010).
In selected LMICs, receiving family transfers is common among older households, and associated with requiring long-term care. Further research is needed to better understand drivers of observed associations and identify ways in which financial protection of older adults’ long-term care needs can be improved.