Comparison between Croatian perspective and European norms for elderly care

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Croatian perspective vs European norms for parental care

The majority of Croatians believe that it is a child’s duty to take care of an ill or elderly parent, whereas that is not the case in other European countries.

Data from the recent European Values Study on whether “adult children have the duty to provide long-term care for their parents” showed that 87% of Croatians believed that it was a child’s duty.

This was Europe’s third highest percentage.

Georgia had the highest percentage of people who agreed with the statement, with 93% believing it was a child’s responsibility. In second place were Albania and Belarus with 89% agreeing.

Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia, and North Macedonia were also very supportive.

At the other end of the scale, only 16% of people from the Netherlands agreed that it is a child’s duty to take care of an ill or elderly parent.

Scandinavian nations, in particular Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, also scored low, as did the UK, Austria, and Switzerland.

“As a Croatian this is a cultural thing. Usually grandparents take care of their grandchildren so the parents can work. When they get old and sick, it’s our turn to take care of them. It has nothing to do with social welfare but strong cultural family spirit,” tweeted one commentator.

“My 100% Croatian grandmother moved in with her 100% Croatian daughter, my mom, and it wasn’t a big deal. It’s what you do. I’m prepared to keep that trend going,” another wrote.

The aim of the study was to investigate values and norms on family care in each country using data from the European Values Study Wave 5, and multilevel regression techniques.

According to the study, the results showed that women, as well as those living in countries that spent a lot on health care and had high participation rates of women in the workforce, were less supportive and did not believe it was the norm that it was the duty of adult children to provide care for their parents.

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