Community-dwelling and recently widowed older adults: Effects of spousal loss on psychological well-being, perceived quality of life, and health-care costs

L.C. van Boekel*, J.C.M. Cloin, K.G. Luijkx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This study is on the effects of spousal loss among older adults who continue to live independently after bereavement. Little longitudinal studies focus on this group, which is of special interest, since in many countries, care policy and system reform are aimed at increasing independent living among older adults. Using longitudinal data from a Dutch public data repository, we investigate the effects of spousal loss on psychological well-being, perceived quality of life, and (indication of) yearly health-care costs. Of the respondents who had a spouse and were living independently (N = 9,400) at baseline, the majority had not lost their spouse after 12 months (T12, n = 9,150), but 2.7% (n = 250) had lost their spouse and still lived independently. We compared both groups using multivariate regression (ordinary least squares) analyses. The results show that spousal loss significantly lowers scores on psychological well-being and perceived quality of life, but we found no effect on health-care costs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Aging & Human Development
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Keywords

  • BEREAVEMENT
  • GENDER
  • MORTALITY
  • OUTCOMES
  • WIDOWHOOD
  • Western European elders
  • aging
  • psychological well-being
  • quality of life
  • widowhood

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