The Last Year of Life in Europe: Initial Findings from the SHARE Study

Posted: 11 Aug 2009

See all articles by Hendrik Jürges

Hendrik Jürges

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA); German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Karsten Hank

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA); University of Mannheim

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Jürges, Hendrik and Hank, Karsten, The Last Year of Life in Europe: Initial Findings from the SHARE Study (2009). MEA Discussion Paper No. 177-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1443992

Hendrik Jürges (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Karsten Hank

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

University of Mannheim ( email )

68131 Mannheim
Germany

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