Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Women face a higher risk of care home admission due to their partner's age

New research from Queen's University Belfast, published today in the journal Age and Ageing, has investigated why women are 40 per cent more likely to be admitted in to a care home than men.

The study found women were often married to older partners who cannot provide care for them due to their age-related frailty.

The study, entitled 'Gender differences in care home admission risk: Partner's age explains the higher risk for women', used data from the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS) derived from the Northern Ireland Health Card registration system, to which the 2001 Census return is linked. The research focused on NILS members aged 65 or over at the time, and living in a household with two people as a couple.

A total of 20,830 people aged 65 and over were living with a partner in a two person household. This represents 37.8% of all non-institutionalised people at the time of the census. Of this group, 45% (9,367) were female, 31% were aged 75 or over, and 47% of the group reported having limiting long term illness (LLTI). A Cox proportional hazard model was used to investigate the relationship between the risk of admission and the cohort member and partner's characteristics over a period of 6 years.

The data showed that women do tend to have partners who are on average older than them and the average age difference between male and female partners is approximately 5 years. The prevalence of ill health increased with age in both sexes but at all ages women had sicker partners, except for the 85 year or older group. In the period studied, 415 people were admitted to care homes. The risk of admission for married women compared to married men was assessed controlling for both the age and health status of the individual. After adjusting the results to consider participant's age, there is a 40% excess risk for female admittance to care home. Once the age of their partner is taken into account, women are no more likely than men to be admitted to care homes.

Mark McCann from Queen's Institute of Childcare Research, author of the study, comments that "the higher admission risk for women in comparison to men appears to be due primarily to the differences in the age and frailty of their partners. This research has gone some way to debunking the myth that older men do not want to care for their partners. The findings clearly show that the main reason more women are admitted to care homes is that their partners are unable to provide sufficient support. Age differences between partners are evident in most societies so it is important that issues raised in this paper are considered in future health planning. The projected narrowing of the gap in life expectancy between men and women may mean that there are more men around to provide such support in future years."

Women have a higher risk of care home admission
Analyses suggests that age-related frailty, not unwillingness to undertake a caring role explains the increased admission risk

Notes to Editors:

Mark McCann is available for interview. Please contact Lisa McElroy, Senior Communications Officer, Queen's University. Tel: +44 (0)2890975384 or m0781 44 22 572 or email

'Gender differences in care home admission risk: Partner's age explains the higher risk for women', Mark McCann, Age and Ageing, 10.1093/ageing/afs022 An embargoed copy of the paper can be found here:

Any mention of this article should be attributed to Age and Ageing published by Oxford University Press. Age and Aging is published by Oxford University Press and can be found here:

Lisa McElroy | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>