This article considers the future of informal care situations, with a special focus on how social networks can support caring. Noting demographic changes and the endemic need for informal support, we outline the convoy model of social relations for proactive planning and contemporaneous caring. The article is grounded in empirical evidence, including comparative findings from four countries and about caring among two uniquely vulnerable populations: late-life remarried couples and lesbian and gay adults. Finally, we propose that caring be considered no longer an individual responsibility, but rather a family, community and societal responsibility basic to shared values and societal cohesion.
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