Family Networks and Supports in Older Age

  • Carlos Chiatti
  • Maria Gabriella Melchiorre
  • Mirko Di Rosa
  • Andrea Principi
  • Sara Santini
  • Hanneli Döhner
  • Giovanni Lamura
Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 6)

Abstract

This chapter will focus on the role of family networks and other social support networks for well-being in older age, providing empirical data across European countries on different sources of support. The first section will illustrate how family care in this respect represents a relevant actor, not only in traditional familistic societies but also in more well-developed European welfare states. Comparative data will be presented in particular on the role played by the family in granting assistance in case of increased dependency in older age. A related issue will be represented by the availability of supports to reconcile paid work and (unpaid) care tasks, especially in the light of the Europe-wide trends to a prolonged working life and increasing female participation in the labour market. Recent empirical evidence will be furthermore provided of the growing importance of migrant care work in households with dependent older people across the Continent, in particular when the formal care system is unable to tackle the challenge of very heavy care needs. The chapter will finally describe the effects of lacking family and support networks, which might take the form of elder abuse and neglect, identifying the main risk factors and possible strategies to prevent it.

Keywords

Family network Caregiving Migrant care workers Care services Reconciliation of care and work 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Chiatti
    • 1
  • Maria Gabriella Melchiorre
    • 1
  • Mirko Di Rosa
    • 1
  • Andrea Principi
    • 1
  • Sara Santini
    • 1
  • Hanneli Döhner
    • 2
  • Giovanni Lamura
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Health and Science on AgingAnconaItaly
  2. 2.University of HamburgHamburgGermany

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