## LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses

1997

Dissertation

#### Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Peggy S. Draughn

#### Abstract

The purposes of this study were to examine where elderly people obtained assistance for Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and for Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), to explore the relationship between the types of support system the elderly used and selected variables, and to formulate a conceptual model to explain and predict the use of informal or formal service in elderly assistance. The hierarchial-compensatory model and the complementary model were examined. Both models were supported by parts of the findings. A random sample of 263 noninstitutionalized elderly was interviewed from five Labor Market Areas in Louisiana. Only those who used assistance were included in the analysis. The number of subsamples of each ADL and/or IADL varied. Frequencies, $\rm X\sp2/M\sp2$ tests and logistic regression analyses were used for the data analysis. The majority of assistance for both ADLs and IADLs were more likely provided by kin, friends and neighbors (informal support system). Assistance which required special skills or involved relatively heavy tasks were mostly provided by a formal support network, such as paid work, while assistance which was easily performed or was time flexible was provided most frequently by the informal support system. Factors which could be used to predict or explain the use of informal or formal service were different depending on a specific assistance item of IADLs. Income and age were not reliable predictors of the use of informal or formal service in the current study. Female elderly and the disabled elderly were more likely to use formal service for transportation. The elderly who had no adult child nearby were more likely to use formal services for financial management and shopping. Single, higher educated elderly were more likely to use formal service for yard work. Higher educated elderly tended to use more formal service for house repair or maintenance. Male elderly and the elderly with no functional disability were more likely to obtain assistance from the formal support network for car maintenance. Also, higher educated elderly tended to use more formal service for housecleaning.

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