The Family Networks of People aged 60 and over Living at Home or in an Institution

Aline Désesquelles  By the same author

      Nicolas Brouard  By the same author

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AbstractIn 1998 and 1999, the French National Institute of Statistics (INSEE) carried out the Handicaps-Incapacités-Dépendance (Disability, Functional Limitations, Dependency) survey (known as the HID survey) on 15,000 people living in medical and social institutions and 17,000 people living in private households. The questionnaire for this survey explores the disabilities of physical and mental origin suffered by the respondents, but it also deals with numerous other facets of their living conditions, notably their family environments.
The results presented in this article are based on these data, and are limited to people aged 60 and over. We show that the family circles of elderly people living in institutions are more limited than those of people living in private households. This “disadvantage” of people living in institutions is one cause of the higher frequency of relational isolation observed in institutions, but other factors also intervene. In particular, age and the existence of a dependency, which is known to be the case for a large majority of people in institutions, are associated with a lower intensity of relations with close family.