Accepted paper:

Caring for elderly: materiality, spaces and individuals involved

Authors:

Carlos Chirinos (Rovira i Virgili University)
Dolors Comas-d'Argemir (University Rovira i Virgili)
Montserrat Soronellas-Masdeu (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we present a methodological approach for understanding the socio-material dimensions of elderly care. We analyse some care cases to identify the resources, spaces and agents involved. This analysis draws on the concepts "mosaic of care resources" and "care constellations".

Paper long abstract:

In this paper we present a methodological approach for understanding the socio-material dimensions of elderly care. We analyse some care cases to identify the resources, spaces and agents involved. The concepts "mosaic of care resources" and "care constellations" enable us to approach the spatial and material entanglements of elderly care. The "mosaic of care resources" consists of the combination of public services, private services, services provided by the family and those provided by the community. When all of these resources are combined and strategically joined together, they make "care constellations". These constellations involve various actors such as care-recipients, family members, professional caregivers, home-helps, managers, experts, political figures, businesses, community initiatives, etc. Care constellations must be analysed in a holistic manner that takes into account the whole ecosystem of participating actors and that highlights the political, economic, organisational and social justice policies relating to care work. The spaces in which care is provided are an essential issue because they are loaded with cultural meanings and they give rise to the tension between the expectations, desires and possibilities of the actors involved. On the basis of a study carried out in Catalonia (Spain) we analyse one care constellation at home and another at a day care centre. Our hypothesis is that the lack of public funding leads to the fragmentation of care resources and turns families into a real but invisible care system for health and dependency that is forced to turn to a range of different resources and agents.

panel P017
Spaces of Ageing - New Horizons of Mobility and Materiality in Later Life [Age and Generations Network]