Long-term care needs in the context of poverty and population aging: The case of older persons in Myanmar

Publication Abstract

PDF Teerawichitchainan, Bussarawan, and John E. Knodel. 2016. "Long-term care needs in the context of poverty and population aging: The case of older persons in Myanmar." PSC Research Report No. 16-853. 3 2016.

Myanmar is one of the poorest and least healthy countries in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, population aging is taking place. Myanmar's policy makers have only begun to pay attention to the implications of population aging for its economy and society, including the health system. There is virtually no official policy or program in place to provide long-term care (LTC) for older persons. Family has thus been the mainstay of financial and instrumental support for elderly with LTC needs. Myanmar's demographic transitions likely challenge the current form of family caregiving for frail older persons, especially in the coming decades. This study aims to provide empirical evidence for a better understanding of LTC needs among Myanmar elderly and the roles that their families play in long-term caregiving. Our analysis is based on the 2012 Myanmar Aging Survey, the country's first nationally representative survey of older persons. Specifically, we examine prevalence and differentials in physical difficulties and LTC needs among Myanmar elders. Subsequently, we assess the likelihood of receiving regular assistance in daily living among sampled elderly. Furthermore, we examine the patterns of primary and secondary caregivers of older persons in Myanmar. Finally, to identify gaps in LTC for older persons, we investigate the correlates of unmet need among Myanmar elders who report needs for personal assistance as well as assess the determinants of inadequate care among care recipients. Given mounting concerns regarding health disparities among different segments of Myanmar's population, including among older persons, we pay attention to the extent to which socioeconomic differences are evident in LTC needs, care provision patterns, and gaps in LTC.

Country of focus: Myanmar.

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