Eldercare in Transnational Immigrant Families

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Nancy MANDELL, York University, Canada
Economics, migration patterns, gender and ethnicity shape intergenerational relations in senior immigrant families. Increased mobility, longevity and unpredictability in family forms disrupt traditional life courses and generate new challenges. The emergence of complex emotional relations, diverse family structures, interdependent family roles and unanticipated extensions of caregiving into old age represent issues both generated by, and constituting responses to, global structural patterns. These patterns get played out in informal and formal types of eldercare. Multiple forms of caregiving, for longer periods of time, result in different possibilities for more generations to both give and receive physical, emotional and financial care. While adult daughters remain the default person for family care, there are potentially diverse sources of care, including more family members, new technologies, community organizations, and state services. Using a social reproduction framework, we analyze data emerging from focus groups and interviews with over one hundred senior immigrants from a cross-section of ethno-racial groups in the Greater Toronto Area. By paying attention to the diversity of older transnational Canadians in terms of gender, ethno-racial, and economic categories, we can distinguish among different types of care and support available and required. Informal and formal caregiving for older persons is revealed as a reciprocal, interdependent, nuanced and complex experience.