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Family Care, Independent Living and Ethnicity

Category: Journal Articles


Harper, S., & Levin, S. (2005). Family Care, Independent Living and Ethnicity. Social Policy and Society, 4(2), 157-169.

The UK's national population structure, in line with most Western societies, is ageing rapidly. The combination of falling fertility and increasing longevity is having an impact on family structures and resultant relationships, with the emergence of long vertical multi-generational families replacing the former laterally extended family forms. This is occurring at a time when UK government policy is placing increasing reliance on families to provide health and social care and support for the growing number of frail older people. While there has been extensive research on family care within the majority white population, there is less understanding of the elder family care provision for the UK's growing older ethnic population. This paper discusses the changing demographics, new government policy on promoting independent living and its implications for family care provision, and reviews our current understanding of family care and support for older people within the UK’s varied ethnic minority families.