The power of social connections is a contemporary focus of research across world regions. Yet, evidence of challenges to carers’ social relationships remains fragmented and underexplored. We conducted a scoping review of 66 articles to create a state-of-knowledge review of the social consequences of caring. Findings indicate evidence of consequences for relationships with care receivers, with other family members and with broader social networks. Knowledge gaps include changes in relationships across time and in understanding diversity in the types and extent of consequences. Evidence challenges assumptions related to caregiving families and to the sustainability of family care.
This chapter examines the age-friendly communities that can be found in the rural areas in Canada. The first section is on the ‘resources’ approach and the ‘best fit’ approach that are used to understand these age-friendly communities. It then examines the natural environment, the human-built environment, and the social environment, which all make rural communities more age-friendly for older people. The chapter concludes that the natural, human-built and social resources make a difference to whether rural settings are good places to grow old.
More than 30 years ago, Elder theorised multiple life-course trajectories in domains such as family and work, punctuated by transitions that create the structure and rhythm of individual lives. We argue that in the context of population ageing, family care should be added as a life-course domain. We conceptualise life courses of family care with core elements of ‘care as doing’ and ‘care as being in relationship’, creating hypothetical family care trajectories to illustrate the diversity of life-course patterns of care. The framework provides a basis for considering influences of care on cumulative advantage/disadvantage for family carers.
This chapter reviews the literature on place attachment and then empirically tests conceptual models of place attachment (based on the literature) to identify the predictors of, and the pathways to, place attachment. The results of the mediation analysis demonstrate that there are distinct pathways to three kinds of connectivity between older people and the places in which they live: social attachment to place, aesthetic attachment to place and amenity/ environment-oriented physical attachment. The results demonstrate that there are discrete types of place attachment which are differentially influenced by social or environmental factors at each level of the ecological model and by the passage of time. We reflect on the applicability of our findings to those from Canadian rural communities that formed a parallel project to the UK research.
Technology has been identified as an important strategy in making caring sustainable. This article takes the design process for carer support technology as a lens on the divergent definitions that are in play when governments, technology developers and carers contemplate ‘sustainability’. We argue that a central impediment to finding a productive point of overlap among the three perspectives is a predominant focus on carers’ needs. We contrast this needs-based approach, and its focus on doing the tasks of care, with a goal-oriented approach focused on being in relationships. Reframing the conversation around goals is important to achieving truly sustainable caring.
The negative effects of caring are well documented; however, positive effects have received less attention. A scoping review of 22 studies published between 2000 and 2018 was conducted regarding the positive effects of family caring for older adults. Our analysis revealed that positive effects are embedded in relationships, summarised in three themes: in relationship with one’s self (the carer), for example, personal growth; in relationship with the care recipient, for example, a deepened dyadic relationship; and in relationship with others, for example, new care-related relationships. Seeing the positive effects of caring relationally may shape environmental factors, such as assistive device, social policy or health services development.