Transnational Families, Age Progression and Care

Transnational Families, Age Progression and Care


Research Project Funded by Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP)
Research/ InstituteofGovernance/ ResearchProjects/ChangingA geingPartnershipCAP/


Maruška Svašek, Queens University Belfast (

Project Description Elderly parents often rely (at least partly) on their children for practical care and emotional support, especially as they become less independent. Adult children also often receive care and support from their parents, in particular when setting up new households and having small children. But how do such care relations develop and function when parents and children reside in different countries? The study (fieldwork from February-November 2009) aims to provide answers to this question, and intends to assess current policies that aim to facilitate transnational care. 

The project will examine the social and emotional dynamics of care in transnational families in connection with age progression and changing relations of dependency. The research is particularly interested in how elderly persons in Northern Ireland (fail to) get support from their children when some or all of their children reside outside Northern Ireland, and in how adult members of transnational families who are based in Northern Ireland negotiate geographical distance in their attempts to care for their elderly parents who live abroad. The project is set up as a pilot study, to be followed up by a larger research project for which the researcher intends to secure further funding. The research will

1. provide insights into the social and emotional needs of older members of transnational families and
2. offer knowledge about the challenges faced by adults who wish to support their elderly parents who reside in another country

Workshop Overcoming Distance: Transnational Families, Ageing and Care