`Rich people less likely to care for elderly parents`

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2011, 15:49 PM IST

London: Earning less seems to be a blessing in disguise -- the richer people become the lesser they care for their elderly parents, a new study has found.

The study of 2,790 American men and women found that increasing of wages leads to a significant drop in the amount of time people spend in helping their parents with household chores, errands and transport.

According to the research, for every ten per cent rise in their salary, women will spend 36 per cent less time providing care and men will reduce their input by 18 per cent, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The findings also showed that having a sibling or other person equipped to help out makes the effect even more severe.

Lead researcher Olena Nizalova, from the Kiev Economics Institute, said the study showed that current global policies towards making care affordable are not compatible with each other.

Providing care for the elderly is becoming an ever more difficult problem because birth rates are declining and people are living longer and reaching retirement in record numbers.

Economists have suggested that the burden could be reduced by encouraging more women to take jobs and raising the retirement age in order to increase the workforce, and urging the families and friends of the elderly to provide more informal care themselves.

But the new study indicated that earning more money would be likely to lower rather than raise the amount of time people spend looking after their elderly relatives.

Involving an elderly person`s wider family and friends in their care could also cause their children to dramatically reduce the amount of time they spend helping out as their earnings rise, it said.

The findings will be presented at a meeting of economics Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.

PTI