The Influence of the End of Life on the Extent of Informal Help Received by Older Adults

Robert J. Johnson, Timothy J. Gallagher, Fredric D. Wolinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examines the extent of informal help received in the home among the respondents to the Longitudinal Study on Aging. The focus is on the direct effects of health status on receiving informal help for activities of daily living (ADLs) and how receiving that informal help is influenced by proximity to death. The findings show that proximity to death is consistently related to receiving help from friends and relatives for those receiving help with basic and household ADLs. The findings also show how different dimensions of health status affect getting help. In addition to the effects of various dimensions of health status, some sociodemographic factors are important. The extent of informal help with basic and advanced ADLs increases with age, but socially isolated individuals (e.g., those living alone) receive substantially less help for all ADLs. Socioeconomic factors and race are for the most part unrelated to getting informal help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-283
Number of pages25
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • ADL
  • End of life
  • Health status
  • LSOA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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