European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 293–300 | Cite as

Informal support in Portugal by individuals aged 50+

  • Fátima Barbosa
  • Alice Delerue Matos
Original Investigation


In Portugal, individuals aged 50+ have an important role in the provision of co-residential care. This study aimed to rank Portugal relative to 15 European countries with regard to the prevalence of co-residential care (daily or almost daily personal care), and extra-residential help/care (household help and/or personal care) provided by individuals aged 50+, and determine the factors associated with the provision of these types of support in the Portuguese context. The study used data from the SHARE wave 4 project (2010–2011) and was based on an analysis of variance and logistic regression models. Portugal differs from other European countries, as it has the highest rate of co-residential care (12.4 %) and the lowest rate of provision of extra-residential help/care (10.8 %). It is concluded that the quality of life (QoL) of Portuguese co-residential carers is lower than the QoL of non-carers, but extra-residential help/care provided once a month or less has a positive impact on the QoL of the providers. Co-residential care and the provision of frequent extra-residential help/care (daily or weekly) were associated with a higher number of depressive symptoms. The results further showed that, in Portugal, co-residential carers and extra-residential helpers/carers have different socio-demographic, economic and health characteristics. This study demonstrates that it is important for scientific research to differentiate the type and frequency of informal support, since this can help us design policies to meet the specific needs of the various types of informal carers aged 50+.


Co-residential carers Extra-residential helpers/carers Carers aged 50+ Quality of life Portugal 



This study was funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology–FCT (SFRH/BD/72257/2010), and SHARE w4 data collection in Portugal was financed by European Commission (Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities DG, grant number VS/2009/0562) and Portuguese High Commissioner for Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication and Society Research CentreUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal

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