In October 2020, The World Health Organization announced the Decade of Healthy Ageing. Its vision is to “provide the opportunity for rethinking not just what older age is but also how our whole lives might unfold”. In this presentation, Norah Keating will talk about how the unfolding of life courses of family carers might contribute to this larger agenda and to the mission of the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.
Keating and her team have conceptualized trajectories of family care across the life course and have provided evidence of how different care pathways can lead to social exclusion in later life. The focus of this presentation is on findings from Canada on diversity of life course patterns of care.
The study sample, drawn from a Statistics Canada national survey of family care, comprised all Canadians aged 65 and older who had ever provided care (N = 3,299). Latent Profile Analysis yielded five distinct care trajectories: Compressed Generational, Broad Generational, Intensive Parent Care, Career Care and Serial Care. They differed in age of first care experience, number of care episodes, total years of care and amount of overlap among episodes. The five trajectories identified provide the basis for further understanding how time and events unfold in various ways across life courses of care. A challenge was presented to find ways to temper a ‘families by stealth’ approach so that family carers are not left behind.
Norah C Keating, PhD, FCAHS, FGSA, FAcSS
Director, Global Social Issues on Ageing (GSIA), International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Professor of Rural Ageing, Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University, UK
Co-director, Research on Aging, Policies and Practice (RAPP), University of Alberta, Canada
Extraordinary Professor, Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, South Africa