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Between elderly parents and grandchildren: geographic proximity and trends in four generation families
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2009 (English)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

In an ageing society, families may have an important role in the caretaking and well-being of the elderly. Demographic changes have an impact on the size and structure of families; one aspect is how intergenerational support is distributed when there is a need for support to both older and younger generations at the same time. Another vital aspect of the provision of care for the elderly is geographic proximity. This study is oriented towards the potential “both-end carers” i.e. persons who have grandchildren in potential need of care while still having living ageing parents. The incidence of having grandchildren and having living parents at age 55 and the proximity between generations is described using Swedish register data. The results show that the share of 55-year-olds who are grandparents decreased dramatically from 70 to 35 percent between 1990 and 2005. As expected, more 55-year-olds have living parents – a proportion that increased from 37 to 47 percent during this period. As a result of delayed childbearing among the children of these cohorts, the likelihood of belonging to a four-generation family among 55-year-olds has not increased, despite increased longevity. Furthermore, most individuals live within daily reach of their kin and no evidence was found of a trend of increasing geographic distances between generations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: University of Oxford , 2009. , 26 p.
, Oxford Institute of Ageing Working Papers, 309
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32598OAI: diva2:304399
Available from: 2010-03-18 Created: 2010-03-18 Last updated: 2011-02-24Bibliographically approved

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Lundholm, EmmaMalmberg, Gunnar
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