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Title: Transnational Elderly Care: Experiences of Care Receivers
Keywords: Transnational families, Mobilities of elders, Eldercare
Issue Date: 2-Dec-2011
Citation: KALINGA MENUSHA DE SILVA (2011-12-02). Transnational Elderly Care: Experiences of Care Receivers. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The migration of skilled workers in Sri Lanka has challenged the traditional norms of filial obligation as eldercare responsibilities have dispersed across a network of care-givers spread across transnational space. Taking the case of urban, middle income elderly parents residing in Sri Lanka and with at least one adult-child who is a skilled, permanent migrant in Australia, the thesis examines how eldercare is impacted by the migration of traditional care-givers, and how this care gap is addressed to varying degrees by multiple actors of care, namely the family, community, market and state. Primary focus is given to the transfer of eldercare across international borders, and analysed through a transnational family perspective. Through dual-sited qualitative interviews, the research draws on thirty transnational family case studies which incorporate the care experiences of the elderly parents, their migrant children and their locally-based adult children. Much of the transnational family literature concentrates on the care experiences of unskilled migrants with parents from poor households; by focusing on their more affluent counterparts the study deals with a different scope of issues with regard to care expectations, alternative sources of care and the agency of the care-receivers. More specifically, by interrogating the notion of care as `proximate¿ vs. `distant¿, I bring together the key elements of the landscapes of care and the care diamond which form the thesis¿s conceptual framework that seeks to achieve two objectives. Firstly, to understand how elderly parents assert their agency to negotiate the forms of care they wish to receive (and even reciprocate if able) as they adapt to the migration of their adult-children. Secondly, to examine how the multiple actors of care in both the home and host country operate to form a tiered network of care-givers who strive to fulfill the elderly parents¿ care needs. Within the context of the study, both care-givers and care-receivers are mobile; hence, the research examined the landscapes of care which emerged when the elderly parents reside in both Sri Lanka and Australia. The research also revealed the dynamic nature of eldercare based on the parents increasing care needs from the healthy and independent phase to the frail and dependent stage. Overall, the study confirms that transnational families actively engage in transnational eldercare despite its temporally and spatially varying nature and has highlighted the multi-faceted nature of reciprocity and care-giving.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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