Older people within transnational families: the social policy implications
ABSTRACT Given that more people ‘permanently’ migrate today than in the past, migration has taken on a heightened profile internationally. Such mobility raises fundamental social policy questions of entitlement and (re)negotiation of caregiving obligations and arrangements. Social policy has traditionally approached problems and developed responses within the confines of the nation-state and faces difficulties in recognising and addressing issues arising from mobility. Migration contributes to family being ‘stretched’ beyond national boundaries to become dispersed, global or transnational families. This article focuses attention on one dimension of transnational living – older people as members of transnational families. The combination of increasing population mobility and the elongation of new post-retirement life-stages is resulting in a set of pressing social policy issues. It explores immigration, pension eligibility and portability, and social services and caregiving issues. To illustrate these issues the article draws on New Zealand's diverse transnational family forms and experience.
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ABSTRACT: A group of 141,345 immigrants from the Netherlands Antilles, a former colony, live in the Netherlands. An increasing number of these migrants are at or above retirement age, and for them, the question of where they want to grow old becomes relevant. It is important for people to age in a place where they feel at home, as attachment to place increases wellbeing in old age. In this article we discuss how older Antillean migrants in the Netherlands make their house and immediate living environment into a home. We focus on home-making practices in a broader cultural context, and in relation to wellbeing. These topics are addressed by drawing on qualitative life-history interviews with Antillean older people, who live in a co-housing community for older adults. It turns out that objects which remind the participants of their home country play an important role in making a home. Also, the community, with people from similar backgrounds, contributes to a sense of home. Finally, the presence of children and other family members is a key motivation for the participants' decision to age in the Netherlands.Ageing and Society 05/2014; 34(5):859-875. · 1.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Critical gerontology views aging as a social construction that reflects the intersections of micro-processes with the macro-level forces of individual aging experiences. In the contexts of immigration and transnationalism, however, the macro-structural conditions, dynamics and experiences of aging have become further diversified and complicated. The dearth of empirical and explanatory knowledge in this area has inhibited us from comprehending aging in a changing world. Drawing on data from a study of Chinese grandparents' experiences of transnational caregiving in Canada, this article examines the impacts of such experiences on three interconnected dimensions – spatial, temporal and cognitive – of aging. Although the practice of transnational caregiving allows skilled immigrant families to mobilize care resources outside Canada, it has not only ruptured the traditional trajectories of aging for their elderly parents, but also complicated the inequalities that they have to bear on individual, familial and transnational levels. I argue that the critical examination of aging in the context of transnational caregiving helps us take into consideration those dimensions (such as place, space, time, and knowledge) that are changed by immigration processes, and rethink aging from a broader perspective that links seniors' experiences with their relationship with their adult immigrant children's families and macro-structures outside national borders.Journal of Aging Studies 08/2012; 26(3):232–242. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The US older population is growing in ethnic diversity. Persistent ethnic disparities in service use among seniors are linked to structural barriers to access, and also to family processes such as cultural preferences and intergenerational relations. There is sparse information on the latter issue for immigrant ethnic minority seniors. Information on the Asian group (the fastest growing senior sub-population) is extremely scarce, due to this group's diversity in national, linguistic, and cultural origins. We conducted a qualitative study among community-dwelling Asian Indian families (including at least one member aged 60 years and older) in North Carolina to examine preferences of seniors and the midlife generation regarding elder care, and the role of intergenerational relations in desired care for elders, exploring the theoretical perspective of intergenerational relationship ambivalence. Our results suggest that cultural preferences, ambivalence in intergenerational relations, and regulations on health service eligibility among immigrant/transnational seniors and midlife adults influence preferences for elder care.Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 12/2013;