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  • Project contributors: Bowes A, Evandrou M, Bell D, Dawson A, Falkingham J, Vlachantoni A, Thomas N, Rutherford A, Ashworth R,

    This Project is linked to the following Strand/s:

    Living Longer and the Changing Lifecourse

    Overview

    Unpaid care is a critical element in the care and support of people in older age, yet there is evidence of significant demographic and socio-economic changes - such as increasing longevity, changing family structures and dynamics, shifting patterns of female (and male) labour force participation and changing attitudes to caring - that may affect current and future provision of unpaid care and hence pressure on the public purse.

    The true extent of unpaid care is unknown as questions on informal care provision, such as those in the recent Census, may fail to capture the breadth and diversity of informal care activities. The aim of this project is to develop a better understanding of the scale and nature of unpaid caring activities, how these interact with other paid and unpaid activities such as work and leisure, and how patterns of time use may be changing as society changes. Ultimately, we aim to inform better ways of collecting survey data on unpaid care that is capable of genuinely informing policy and capacity planning, and this can directly inform inter alia, the design of the new Scottish Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

    Closely informed by the views and experiences of unpaid carers themselves, we are investigating the dynamics of unpaid care for older people by collecting and analysing time-use data and by developing improved methods of understanding the nature of unpaid care in survey research. This will in turn inform the development of policies which can effectively support the provision of unpaid care, helping to counteract current demographic changes which may reduce it.

    The research, which brings together colleagues from Scotland and Southampton, involves both qualitative research in the form of interviews with unpaid carers in care partnerships with older people and quantitative analysis of large-scale surveys such as the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

    Publications & Activities

    39th International Association for Time Use Research Conference
    39th International Association for Time Use Research Conference (2017). (Madrid)
    Authors: Dawson A, Bowes A,

    Carerís time use: Preliminary findings from time use diaries
    BSG Conference 2017 (2017). (The Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University)
    Authors: Dawson A, Bowes A,

    Carers time use: Preliminary findings from time use diaries
    Transforming Care Conference (2017). (Polytechnic of Milan, Italy )
    Authors: Bowes A, Dawson A,

    Unpaid care for older people: a study of carers' time use
    45th Annual BSG Conference 2016 (2016). (University of Stirling)
    Authors: Bowes A, Dawson A, Greasley-Adams C, Murray S, Bell D, Rutherford A,

    Unpaid care for older people: a study of carers time use
    44th Annual BSG Conference 2015 (2015). (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
    Authors: Bowes A, Dawson A, Greasley-Adams C, Murray S, Bell D, Rutherford A,

    Dynamics of care and work in mid-life
    Ageing Britain BSPS-BSA Policy Forum (2015). (The British Academy, London)
    Authors: Evandrou M, Falkingham J, Vlachantoni A, Gomez-Leon M,

    Media

    Elderly in care must be given home comforts says new government review The Express. 2014
    Article in the Express, "Elderly in care must be given home comforts says new government review"

    Care homes should be 'civilised' by filling them with personal possessions and furniture; the care minister has said The Telegraph. 2014
    Article in the Telegraph Care homes should be 'civilised' by filling them with personal possessions and furniture, the care minister has said'

    Care home residents to be allowed their own furniture; says Norman Lamb The Telegraph. 2014
    Article in the Telegraph) 'Care home residents to be allowed their own furniture, says Norman Lamb', The Telegraph, 17 August 2014, http