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Kvinnors och mäns hjälp till sina gamla föräldrar: Innehåll, omfattning och konsekvenser
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. (Omsorgsforskargruppen)
2015 (Swedish)In: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, ISSN 1104-1420, Vol. 22, no 2, 111-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Women’s and men’s filial care: extent, content and consequences

This paper analyses the extent, content and consequences of caregiving for elderly parents from agender and welfare state perspective using a nationally representative postal survey conducted in Sweden in 2013 (response rate 60.5 per cent, 3630 individuals, age 45–66 years). Negative consequencesof filial care on well-being, work situation and employment were examined. The analysisconfirms earlier research showing that filial care is common in Sweden but is less intense and hasfewer negative consequences than in less generous welfare states. A quarter of both women andmen gave filial care at least once a month, on average around 3.4 hours a week.Although men and women gave the same extent of filial care, it was more common amongwomen to give the more demanding personal care as well as to experience mental and physicalstrain, difficulties in finding time for leisure activities and reduced ability to focus on their job. Although women retired earlier than planned due to filial care more often than men, this was very rare. Men and women, however, suffered to the same extent from difficulties in managing to accomplish their tasks, to take part in meetings, courses and travels, as well as having to reducetheir working hours and quit their jobs. The content of care was crucial for the occurrence of negative consequences of caregiving, evenwhen the analysis controlled for hours of care given. The more demanding the care tasks performed,the more common it was among both men and women that their well-being and worksituation were affected. The correlation between care tasks and negative impact, however, differedbetween genders. The impact of managerial care was much higher for women than for men,which is discussed in relation to the decline of eldercare services and the lack of coordination of health and eldercare services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 22, no 2, 111-132 p.
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121476OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-121476DiVA: diva2:858801
Available from: 2015-10-05 Created: 2015-10-05 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Omsorgens pris i åtstramningstid: Anhörigomsorg för äldre ur ett könsperspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Omsorgens pris i åtstramningstid: Anhörigomsorg för äldre ur ett könsperspektiv
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
The cost of caring in the Swedish welfare state : Feminist perspectives on family care for older people
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the extent of family care for older people, primarily filial care, and the costs of caring in the Swedish welfare state. Costs of caring are understood as the negative effects of caregiving, primarily on the caregivers’ working life. The analysis is inspired by feminist theories on the importance of welfare state provisions for care for women’s citizenship, including personal autonomy and economic independence.

The main aims of this thesis are twofold. The first is to explore the extent and development of family care for older persons in Sweden, primarily filial care, and the consequences of caregiving for well-being and working life. The second is to explore how older persons’ family members have been represented and the possible consequences of these representations for the development of publicly financed eldercare services and other forms of support for family carers, as well as for family members’ living conditions.

The thesis consists of four studies. The first reviews the literature concerning the extent and consequences of family caregiving for older persons and the welfare state’s policy responses to older people’s care needs. The second study analyses how older persons’ family members and their role in eldercare have been represented in Swedish eldercare policy since the 1950s. The third study analyses surveys to explore changes during the 2000s in the role of the family, the public sector and the market in providing care for older persons in Sweden. The fourth study is a survey analysis of the extent, content and consequences of filial care among middle-aged women and men in Sweden in 2013.

The policy analysis found that the expansion of eldercare was motivated solely in relation to older persons’ needs; thus working daughters’ needs of eldercare have been a blind spot in Swedish eldercare policy.

Since 2000, every fourth residential care bed has disappeared and the increase in homecare services did not fully compensate for the decline, resulting in a significant increase in filial care in all social groups, and among both sons and daughters. Daughters of older persons with shorter education, however, remained the primary providers of filial care.

Both daughters and sons are affected by caregiving. They suffer to the same extent from difficulties in managing to accomplish their work tasks and taking part in meetings, courses and travels. They are also equally likely to reduce their working hours and to quit their job. It is however clearly more common that daughters experience mental and physical strain, difficulties in finding time for leisure and reduced ability to focus on their job. Although more daughters than sons retire earlier than planned due to filial care, this is very rare.

Managerial care (handling contacts with health and eldercare services) has a more salient role in a welfare state such as Sweden, with generously provided care services, less intense filial care and high employment rates among both sexes. The high labour force participation however makes middle aged children more vulnerable when their parents’ care arrangement does not work. The decline in eldercare services since 1980 has reinforced co-ordination problems in health and eldercare services. The managerial care required to handle this development, while living up to the demands of work and family life, stands out as especially demanding for the well-being and working lives of daughters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete, Stockholms universitet, 2015
Series
Rapport i socialt arbete, ISSN 0281-6288 ; 150
Keyword
family care, filial care, older people, eldercare, gender, cost of caring, social policy, care services, de-familialization, re-familialization, universalism, Swedish welfare state
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121477 (URN)978-91-7649-266-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-06, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveavägen 160, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Accepted.

Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-05 Last updated: 2015-10-09Bibliographically approved

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