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Who Cares for Whom? Rural Ageing, Migration and Networks of Informal Care

26th January 2012 3pm, University of Southampton 58/1065

Alasdair Rutherford, University of Stirling

A joint CPC and Third Sector Research Centre seminar.

Care for older people is a complex phenomenon. With an ageing population, it is also an area of pressing policy concern. In this Centre For Population Change (CPC) project we are examining how older people and their families make decisions about informal care, including housing, location, roles, and formal care choices. The project uses both quantitative and qualitative data. In this paper we argue that the complexity of care relationships, and the endogeneity of decision making in health care, social care, informal care and household formation, pose significant problems for the analysis of care choices. The analysis of caring relationships as a network, rather than as one-to-one, provides an opportunity to examine some of these issues. We illustrate an example of building care networks using an existing quantitative data source, and describe the characteristics of these informal care networks. The nature of the relationships in caring networks is then explored further using qualitative data gathered from two fieldwork areas in the UK, where both informal carers and carees were interviewed. We show that there are significant issues for informal care around migration, housing, information, expectations, and the social norms of caring.

Download Presentation File 1 (ptx format)