Care Arrangements of Frail Older People Living Alone in Italy - IN-AGE Study

Published: 3 December 2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/3ryrpz224h.2


Data come from the study "Inclusive ageing in place” (IN-AGE), funded by Fondazione Cariplo (Italy), Grant N. 2017-0941, and regarding a purposive sample of 120 individuals aged 65 years and over (males and females). It was a cross-sectional qualitative survey which in 2019 was conducted by face-to-face interviews to frail older people, with physical limitations but without cognitive impairment, and living at home, alone or with a private personal care assistant (PCA), in three Italian Regions (Lombardy, Marche, and Calabria). Both peripheral/degraded areas of urban sites and fragile rural locations were included, with regard to social and material vulnerability aspects (e.g. high presence of older people, high level of unemployment, low level of education, poor provision of services). The dataset regards in particular available care arrangements of older people to perform daily living activities, especially in the presence of functional limitations. In this respect, both informal (e.g. family members) and formal care (e.g. public services) were explored. A semi-structured interview was used. The issues were explored mainly with ad hoc open questions for the survey, adapted from previous studies. The difficulties in carrying out the activities of daily life were detected by administering the ADLs and IADLs scales. In order to provide the quantitative analysis (by means of Microsoft Excel 2019), qualitative dimensions were codified, in terms of absence/presence/frequency of the investigated aspects (e.g. yes/no help from the family, PCA, services, friends/neighbours; daily and weekly help). Some more complex quantitative classifications were also used in the analysis. Regarding the level of physical limitations, four grades were provided, corresponding in turn to four levels of functional frailty (mild, moderate, high, very high). Moreover, the following were elaborated: share of family help on total help (up to 50% and over 50% of total help); number of living close by family members who help (who live in the same urban city/rural municipality of respondents); and monthly income brackets. The verbatim transcriptions of the qualitative interviews are not publicly available due to privacy issues. Results showed that the support comes mainly still from family members, albeit with decreasing availability, but also from domestic home help (DHH) and PCAs, friends/neighbours, and less from public services. Frequency of help, and living proximity of family members who give support, play a key role. Territorial differentiation emerged, with a worst public service context in the South. It seems overall necessary to improve home services, also through a real formal and informal integration. The dataset is provided in open format (Microsoft Excel) and includes the following: a “numeric” dataset regarding the unlabelled dimensions used for statistics elaboration; a codebook with the complete variables list and variables labels we used.



INRCA-IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura Anziani


Social Sciences