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Open access

Andrej Srakar, Rok Hren and Valentina Prevolnik Rupel


Background and Purpose: Chronic diseases and associated co-morbidities are highly prevalent among elderly and are associated with an increase in health services utilization which in turn raises health care expenditures throughout industrialized societies. However, health care utilization in elderly is still inadequately understood, particularly regarding the differences among European jurisdictions. In our article, we use dataset of Wave 5 of SHARE survey to study the utilization of health care in older Europeans in 15 European countries.

Design/Methodology/Approach: We investigate relationships between factors such as age, gender, income, education and health variables and the utilization of various types of health services. We apply regression modeling to study the determinants of health utilization (different socioeconomic and health variables) of older people.

Results: We show some significant differences between determinants of health utilization in terms of probability and frequency of usage. We also explore patterns between welfare regimes, taking Eastern European jurisdictions as a reference category. Finally, we show that in a simple causal model the provision of formal and/or informal homecare serves as a complement to utilization of health care services.

Conclusion: Results of our article are important for the management of health care facilities in terms of health care usage by older people, and can be of value to health care providers and policy makers in the field.

Open access

Bogusława Urbaniak and Justyna Wiktorowicz


The article aims to assess some selected solutions of the Polish government’s programme “Solidarity of generations” [SG] designed to support economic activity among people aged 50+. It presents the results of a national survey conducted in the first half of 2012, mainly the outcomes of questionnaire interviews carried out with representative samples of people aged 45+ and employers. Studies under the name ‘Diagnosis of the current situation of females and males 50+ on the labour market in Poland [D50+]’ were conducted within the project “Equal Opportunities in the Labour Market for People Aged 50+”. In addition to standard methods of descriptive analysis and the assessment of relations, factor analysis is also used to identify the main types of activities advancing opportunities for people aged 45+. Some solutions of the government’s programme, such as the protection of employees from dismissal during the last four years before their retirement, were sometimes evaluated very differently by employers and people aged 45+. At the same time, both employers and people aged 45+ were favourable about free training and public subsidies to set up jobs for an unemployed persons aged 50+. According to the factor analysis results, the most important activities for people aged 45+ to have equal opportunities in the labour market are those activities that directly improve their qualifications. Although this finding is endorsed by both employers and people aged 45+, the insufficient systemic support for life-long learning limits the number of opportunities they could use to increase their employment activity. The variety of evaluations presented by the beneficiaries of the government programme should be taken into account in planning its modification.