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Getting old as a migrant

A comparison of forms of care used by older natives and migrant residents in Switzerland
Copyright: sudok1    

A close look at the ageing process betrays a complex interaction of demographic policies and factors. Old age care arrangements are a window into that interaction. But what does this mean when the ageing process also affects the migrant population?

Claudio Bolzman and Giacomo Vagni compare old age care arrangements used in Switzerland by migrants and native Swiss. Specifically, they investigated whether older migrants find their way to formal care services as often as older Swiss natives despite language barriers, lower levels of education, and fewer economic resources.

They found that regardless the nationality, older migrants who received support from their friends and relatives still use formal care services. However, native Swiss residents use a large variety of care services—private, semi-private, public, non-profit, and informal. Meanwhile, older migrants, especially the most vulnerable, are less likely to use private services at all. 

 

Original paper: Bolzman, Claudio, & Vagni, Giacomo (2017): Forms of care among native Swiss and older migrants from Southern Europe: a comparison. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43 (2), pp. 249-269.