The Last Year of Life in Europe: Initial Findings from the SHARE Study
Posted: 11 Aug 2009
Date Written: 2009
This article provides an explorative overview of the life circumstances of older Europeans in their last year of life. Using information from 526 end-of-life interviews conducted as part of the 2006-07 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we detect a high prevalence of disability in the last year of life, varying by socio-demographic characteristics and geographic region. The most important sources of help in the year prior to death are children and children-in-law, but non-family also plays a major role, particularly in Northern Europe. Two fifths of the decedents died outside of institutions, this fraction being larger in Southern than in Northern Europe. Most decedents divide their bequests almost equally between their children. Our findings draw an initial picture of older European’s last year of life and show, how the research potential introduced in this paper might expand once future waves of SHARE become available.
Keywords: cross-national research, end-of-life research, quality of life
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