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  • Author or Editor: Inge Hutter x
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Home is a place marked by many life course events. Home is also embedded with memories, self-identity, sense of security, cherished possessions and family relations. When an older adult leaves their home and starts to live in a retirement facility they have to reconfigure their sense and meaning of home. This chapter examines home ownership and residential changes and the meanings homes have for older adults in Kerala. The chapter addresses three questions: i) what motivates older adults to retain their (previous) home while currently residing in retirement homes?, ii) how do older adults maintain their previous homes? and iii) how do these motivations help to maintain place attachment? Using a unique set of qualitative interviews with residents of care homes, the authors show that health issues, a need for assistance, a lack of security, migration of children, loneliness due to loss of a spouse and a wish to live independently, are the major reasons for older adults to seek an alternative source of residence in the form of a retirement home. Cultural schemas of care and obligations towards next generation motivate older adults in retaining and maintaining homes.

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Insufficient social security systems make families primarily responsible for providing support to older adults in India. Increased mobility of adult children, fewer siblings and increased longevity of older adults are some of the demographic changes influencing care arrangements in Indian households. This chapter applies a qualitative research approach to examine the evolving nature of care frameworks for older adults in the Indian context. This is done through examining the changing household living arrangements and complexities that exist in identifying caregiving motives and primary caregivers to older adults, especially in an emigration context where older adults are left behind. This chapter serves to initiate dialogue on the negotiated intergenerational contract that seems to have evolved in the background of changing family situations and modernisation, however, serves to still make possible reciprocal support exchanges between older adults and their adult children. Findings from this study indicate that adult children from emigrant households are responsive to parental needs of support and find ways to effect supportive exchanges and care arrangements. The intergenerational care arrangements reflect the emigration event-led adaptation of family and household structure to retain traditional familial ties and enable mutually supportive exchanges between adult children and their parents.

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