Providing assistance with personal and household care

Providing assistance with personal and household care

LASA filenames:

Contact: Marjolein Broese van Groenou


Over the past decades the view on the ageing population has changed from older adults being disengaged from society to being potentially ‘productive’ and involved in society through work, volunteering and social networks. Moreover, the reform of the long term care policies in the Netherlands contributes to an increased need for informal care in society. The installation of Social Support Act (Wmo: Wet maatschappelijke ondersteuning) in 2007, and the reform of the National Act of Exceptional Medical Expenses (AWBZ: Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten) into the Long Term Care Act (Wlz) and the Care Insurance Act (Zvw) in 2015, has emphasized the need for informal care. In this context, older adults may not only use informal care, they may also provide informal care. This topic is included in the LASA data collection since 2002.

Measurement instruments in LASA

At LASA-2B, LASA-F, LASA-G, LASA-H, LASA-3B, LASA-MB, LASA-I and LASA-J, questions concerning care giving were incorporated in the written questionnaire. It was asked whether the respondent recently provided help with household chores to somebody outside the own household, and whether the respondent provided help with personal care to somebody inside or outside the own household. If so, questions are asked about type of care recipient, intensity (hours) and duration (years) of care.

Except for LASA-2B, all questionnaires include an additional question about whether the respondent felt that he/she was burdened with care responsibilities. Moreover, it was asked in both LASA-I and LASA-J whether help was given because of health problems of the receiving person.


LAS2B142 / LASAF142 / LASAG142 / LASAH142 / LAS3B142 / LASAI142 / LASAJ142 (self-administered questionnaire, in Dutch) / LASMB142 (medical interview, in Dutch);

Variable information

LAS2B142 / LASAF142 / LASAG142 / LASAH142 / LAS3B142 / LASMB142 / LASAI142 / LASAJ142

Availability of information per wave


Providing household care----SaSaSaSaSaMeSaSa
Providing personal care----Sa
Care burden------SaSaSaMeSaSa

¹ More information about the LASA data collection observations is available here.

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
3B=baseline third cohort;
MB=migrants: baseline first cohort;
K=future wave 2021-2022

Sa=data collected in self-administrated questionnaire;
Me=data collected in medical interview

Previous use in LASA

The information is generally used to indicate whether one provides help with either one or both of the two types of tasks (yes/no).
Studies have been published on societal participation in relation to health [1] and psychological wellbeing [2].

In a report for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport [1], trends in the provision of informal care among young olds were associated with (trends in) factors indicating productive behavior in society, entailing norms or attitudes (education, altruism, gender), capacities (health) and limitations in time (work, family roles).

Peer reviewed journal articles

  1. Scharn, M., Van der Beek, A., Suanet, B.A., Huisman, M. (2019). Societal participation of individuals aged 55-64 years with and without chronic disease. The European Journal of Public Health, 29, 93-98.
  2. Bijnsdorp, F.M., Suanet, B.A., Broese van Groenou, M.I. (2018). Het combineren van meerdere rollen onder ouderen : Vermindert of verbetert dit het welbevinden. Mens en Maatschappij, 93, 2, 111-137.

Reports for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports

Reports are available on: Beleidsrapporten VWS  (in Dutch)

  1. Broese van Groenou, M.I. and N. Tolkacheva (2014). Zijn ouderen nu meer of minder sociaal actief dan voorheen? Trends in vrijwilligerswerk, mantelzorg en het geven van steun door 64-75-jarigen in 2005, 2008 en 2012. [Trends in volunteering, informal care and social support giving]. Rapport voor het ministerie van VWS. Amsterdam: VU/LASA.

Ancillary study

Data collection on informal caregivers at the end of life of older people living in the community, conducted in 2000. The study involved face-to-face interviews and written questionnaires with spouses and children from deceased LASA-respondents.

  • Visser G., Klinkenberg, M., Broese van Groenou, M.I., Willems, D.L. & Knipscheer, C.P.M. (2004). Informal care at the end of life of older people living in the community. Palliative Medicine, 18, 468-477.

Date of last update: June 18, 2020