Care for Older Adults in India
Living Arrangements and Quality of Life

7: All my responsibilities towards my children are over! Linked lives and life course obligations among older adults with migrant children in India

This chapter investigates how life course obligations, expectations and practices are linked to older adults’ sense of well-being. It takes a life course approach with a specific focus on linked lives. Linked lives recognises that life trajectories of individuals are socially embedded and closely linked to the transitions of significant others such as family members. Moreover, it is important to see linked lives as translocal as they include older adults in migrant households, their adult children (co-residing or migrant children), grandchildren, caregivers and non-kin social networks. To explore these issues qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 37 older adults. The participants included couples, widows and widowers. Participants in this study include both older adults co-residing with kin and older adults residing on their own. The results show that life stages and expectations of successful transition from one stage to the next was perceived as crucial for the offspring and for the older adults. The chapter observes that economic security, social support, health and better living conditions aid in realising the life course obligations and contribute towards the overall well-being of the older adults.

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