demography ageing population

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  • The aging population
    • Impact on housing and the elderly
      • The number of elderly couples living independently or in their own households as either married or cohabiting spouses has increased, 52.6% (2001) to 56.8 (2011).
      • ill health and disability become a problem for one member of the couple, the other is likely to become the primary carer. 2011 census results indicate, 1.3 million people aged over 65 are caring for other relatives or spouse, the majority are women.
    • Households
    • Extended families
      • In the 1950s, 40 per cent of the elderly had been taken in by their relatives, but this had dropped to only 5 per cent by the mid-1990s.
      • This growth in the number of extended families may be the result of economic pressures-parents and their adult children may not have the economic resources to pay for private residential homes. Children feel obliged to take in their parents, old age can be socially isolating, lonely and dangerous
    • Extended ties and kinship
      • Feminist sociologists have noted that females, especially daughters, tend to take on a disproportionate responsibility for the care of elderly parents compared with sons.
      • Caring for elderly relatives can create financial hardship, and even poverty, especially if one of the spouses has had to give up work. caring can bring additional costs, investing in assistive  equipment such as stair-lifts etc. and higher living costs such as heating, laundry and transport.
    • Beanpole family
      • The aging population, women perusing higher education and careers, the consequent decline in fertility and availability of divorce has led to four-generational families.
      • less likely to experience horizontal intragenerational ties, fewer relatives.
      • family members are more likely to experience vertically intergenerational ties, closer ties to grand parents and grand children.
      • 20% of people in their fifties and sixties currently care for an elderly person, while 10% care for both an elderly person and a grandchild.
    • Grand parenting and relationships
      • Families benefit from the presence of grandparents, the interaction between grandparents and children is more qualitative compared with the past because they're more healthy, active and live longer. They make a significant contribution to the parenting and socialising process.
      • Ben-Galim and Silim (2013) found that grandmothers are putting in a greater number of informal childcare hours than grandfathers, and play a crucial role in helping families with childcare.


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