Transforming care? Exploring the narratives sustaining self-managed senior co-housing in Spain
Yolanda Bodoque-Puerta (Rovira i Virgili University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the narratives sustaining self-managed senior co-housing as an alternative place for ageing and everyday care and discusses the tensions and contradictions when it comes to universalizing access to care, redistributing resources, and curbing social and gender inequalities
Paper long abstract:
Against the backdrop of the "care crisis" and the progressive ageing of society, self-managed senior co-housings are emerging in Spain. The importance given to personal autonomy, the organization of physical spaces and community self-management are elements that enable the configuration of an alternative place for ageing, overcoming the limitations of domestic/institutional and private/public care arrangements. Self-managed co-housings are led by a new generation of seniors that express different ideas and demands on how to age: they reject passivity and solitude, and pursue participation and active citizenship. These projects are based on the values of solidarity and mutual aid, providing new elements for the social organization of care, still marked by inequalities in both provision of and access to care. Members of senior co-housing projects argue that they can set up care arrangements that are not commanded by the market or the family, although they do not consider acting against or outside the State and public policies from which they demand recognition and commitment to meet their rights and needs. Drawing on ethnographic data collected within the framework of the research project "Men's commitment to long-term care: gender, generations and cultures of care" carried out in Spain, this paper aims to explore the narratives sustaining the creation of these community-led projects and to discuss the tensions and contradictions involved in senior co-housing projects when it comes to universalizing access to care, redistributing resources among subjects and care providers, and curbing social and gender inequalities in the provision of care.
Spaces of Ageing - New Horizons of Mobility and Materiality in Later Life [Age and Generations Network]