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This article addresses three questions: Are elderly immigrants less likely than Canadian-born elderly people to reside independently? What are the effects of economic, cultural, and life course factors on residential independence among elderly immigrants? What are the effects of immigrant-specific characteristics such as duration of residence and cultural background? Descriptive results show that elderly immigrants are less likely to reside independently, but the large gap of over 15 per cent is reduced to 5 per cent once economic, cultural, life course, and other factors are considered in the multivariate analysis. Effects of economic, cultural, and life course factors are mostly as expected, as are those of immigrant-specific characteristics such as duration of residence. Although aging immigrants have more-varied living arrangements than their Canadian-born peers, these are likely to increasingly include residential independence.
An understanding of trends and determinants for the residential mobility of elderly Canadians is essential for public policy and planning. Study of the patterns, changes over time, and determinants of the mobility of older Canadians has become increasingly important as the population ages. Elderly residential mobility has decreased substantially since 1971, and almost one-half of this decrease is due to changes in population composition. Because the multivariate analysis described here does not account for most of the downward trends in residential mobility, however, further work is needed on speculative explanations discussed in this article.
Through the lens of individualization, aging families demonstrate changes both in family composition and in meanings of family and support. So, also, do low-income families that – in order to survive – choose flexible, sometimes novel, social-support relations, including kin and non-kin: these are aging families by choice. Applying the concept of liminality (transitional states of being) created through individualization, we explored the experiences of close relations in low-income families consisting of aging kin and non-kin members. Qualitative interviews with respondents representing two or three generations of aging families of choice illustrated how these families perceive the meanings of family and social support. We find that reciprocity is less vital to relationships of older with younger members in familial networks than may be expected. Liminality contours meanings and exchanges in low-income aging families of choice such that no matter how tenuous relations may be, they provide a sense of belonging and meaning.
This study examined the socioeconomic pathways linking partnership status to physical functioning, assessed using objective measures of late life physical functioning, including peak flow and grip strength. Using Wave 4 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we ran multilevel models to examine the relationship between partnership status and physical function in late life, adjusting for social-network characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and health behaviours. We found a robust relationship between partnership status and physical function. Incorporating social-network characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and health behaviours showed independent robust relationships with physical function. Co-variates attenuated the impact of cohabitation, separation, and widowhood on physical function; robust effects were found for singlehood and divorce. Sex-segregated analyses suggest that associations between cohabitation, singlehood, divorce, and widowhood were larger for men than for women. Results suggest that social ties are important to improved physical function.
Despite evidence of increasing diversification of family structures, little is known regarding implications of marital and parental status for access to social support in later life. Using data from Statistics Canada’s 2007 General Social Survey, this study assessed the impact of marital and parental status intersections on social support among adults aged 60 and older (n = 11,503). Two-stage probit regression models indicated that among those who were currently married or separated/divorced, childless individuals were more likely to report instrumental (domestic, transportation) and emotional support from people outside the household. Conversely, among never-married or widowed older adults, being childless was associated with reduced domestic support but without differences in other support domains. Findings suggest that marital and parental status intersections are not uniformly positive, neutral, or negative regarding implications for extra-household social support. Future work should address complexities of these relationships in order to better understand rapidly changing family structures.
This study examined correlates of caregiving at the end of life provided by adult children to their older parents and the role of gender of adult children in family caregiving in rural China. Data came from five waves of the Longitudinal Study of Rural Elder’s Well-Being in Anhui Province, China, over 12 years and from a post-mortality survey. Hierarchical linear modeling was used. Findings demonstrated that the birth order of adult children, prior geographic distance, and prior intergenerational support exchange were significantly associated with family caregiving at the end of life. Eldest children, compared to other siblings, provided the most end-of-life caregiving to their parents. Children cohabitating with older parents before death provided the most caregiving, compared to other siblings. Adult children who had previously exchanged instrumental support with older parents before death, especially sons, tended to provide the most caregiving, compared with that by others, at end of life.
This study compared the correlates of burden for spouse and adult child caregivers at two points in time and assessed whether correlates at T1 predicted burden at T2. The sample consisted of 878 caregivers to older adults throughout British Columbia who were prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors. Burden was measured six months after the older adult was prescribed the medication and one year later (n = 759). Findings suggest that adult children experience more burden than spouses at both T1 and T2 with adult children but not spouses decreasing their burden over time. Correlates of T1 burden explained significant amounts of variance, revealing differential correlates for the two groups and the importance of caregiver characteristics over patient characteristics. Burden at T2 is explained mostly by T2 factors, plus T1 burden, suggesting the importance of relatively immediate factors for direct effects on caregiver burden. Indirect effects operated through T1 burden.
Care for older people is a complex phenomenon, and is an area of pressing policy concern. Bringing together literature on care from social gerontology and economics, we report the findings of a mixed-methods project exploring networks of informal caring. Using quantitative data from the British Household Panel Survey (official survey of British households), together with qualitative interviews with older people and informal carers, we describe differences in formal care networks, and the factors and decision-making processes that have contributed to the formation of the networks. A network approach to care permits both quantitative and qualitative study, and the approach can be used to explore many important questions.
Population aging is likely to lead to an increase in the number of people in need of assistance. It is well known that a large part of this assistance originates, and will continue to originate, from the network of relatives and friends. However, the effects of the provision of care on individuals’ employment trajectories when this care is combined with employment of varying intensity or with childcare responsibilities have rarely been examined. The present study used proportional hazards models with the General Social Survey, Cycles 20 and 21, to assess the impact of providing care to a partner, a parent or parent-in-law, another relative, or a non-relative on the risk of leaving employment. The analyses show that providing care to a parent or parent-in-law increases the probability of leaving employment only among women employed full-time and among men and women who have no children or only adult children.