Intra-couple caregiving of older adults living apart together: Commitment and independence

J. de Jong-Gierveld

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently, rising numbers of mid-life and older adults are starting a living apart together (LAT) relationship following divorce or widowhood. LAT describes an intimate relationship wherein partners maintain separate households. This study investigated the characteristics of care arrangements in older long-term LAT couples and elicited personal comments about intra-couple care. We interviewed 25 LAT partners and a comparison group of 17 remarried older adults in the Netherlands in a side study of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study. Results showed that about half of the LAT partners intended to exchange care if needed (partnership commitment); the other half had ambiguous feelings or intentions to refuse care (independence orientation). However, for those LAT partners already confronted with illness in their current relationship, all provided care to the partner in need. The minority of LAT partners who would not exchange care reciprocally are more likely to give as opposed to receive care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-365
JournalCanadian Journal on Aging = La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
Issue numberSpecial Issue 3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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