MetadataShow full item record
- NIBR notat 
The aim of the project The project, entitled "Multicultural elderly care", which was initiated by KS (the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities), examines three immigrant groups' expectations towards old age. The project has two main targets: To investigate the knowledge the groups have of the local authorities' care services and their attitudes towards using these services; To obtain insight into the young generations' attitudes towards providing care and assistance to their parents in their old age. "Immigrant" refers in this context to a person who has moved to Norway (or was born in Norway of two parents) from a country outside the Nordic region, Western-Europe, North America or Oceania; in other words, what we often call non-Western countries. More specifically here, it refers to informants from Vietnam, Sri Lanka or Pakistan. How many and who was interviewed? The data collection consists of qualitative interviews with 70 informants (33 men and 37 women). In the project, informants over 50 years of age are defined as "elderly", while people under 50 years of age are considered "young". The interviews consist of group conversations and individual conversations (40 in all). The three immigrant groups are represented by respectively 20 (Vietnam), 27 (Sri Lanka) and 23 (Pakistan) informants. The difference in number is due to different access to interviewees. Most of the interviewees are married; only three persons over 30 years of age are single. Nearly half of the elderly interviewees live in co-residence with their adult, married children. The structure in these families varies. The distinction is between interviewees from Vietnam and Sri Lanka on the one hand, where the common household consists of a surviving father or mother living together with one of his or her children, and the interviewees from Pakistan on the other hand, where the common household consists of a married couple living together with one of their children (normally their youngest son) in a house that the parties own together. Health and work All the interviewees over 50 years of age were asked about the state of their health. Their responses indicate that many of them are struggling with health problems. Many suffer from serious disorders such as strokes and heart disease. The interviewees' descriptions indicate that the women have more problems with their health than the male interviewees, including mental health issues. Only a small minority reports good health, most of them men in their fifties. Ten of the interviewees are pensioners. Of the remaining informants, one third is employed, while the others are either on a disability pension or an early retirement pension, or have never had an occupation. The latter is only the case for women. None of the interviewees over 60 years of age is employed. Plans and expectations for the future Moving back to their homeland?Hardly any of the interviewees think they are going to move back to their homeland when they get older, though many of them have dreamed about this for years. Among those who fled their country as refugees, some still hope to be able to move back one day. Their reconsidering of their return plans is in part due to conditions in their homeland, and in part to the ties they have established to Norway. For some, the political situation in their homeland represents an obstacle to moving back. For others, problems connected to infrastructure, institutional rights and general safety make it less attractive to move back. The most important aspect of the ties to Norway is the fact that their children and grandchildren live here. Another important reason for staying is that the interviewees are used to and appreciate the Norwegian societal system,including the health and welfare services. Living on their own or together with their children? According to Sundström (1994), there is a reduction in co-residence between generations in all the OECD countries and in many other countries. Immigrants from countries with traditions for co-residency tend to quickly adapt to the family norms of their new countries, with the nuclear family as the dominant model. The findings from this project indicate that the same trend prevails in this sample. Some of the interviewees explicitly state that they prefer to live on their own in their old age, rather than "bothering" their children. This opinion is represented in all three groups, but appears to be most widespread among the interviewees from Sri Lanka. However, many see the situation differently if one of the spouses passes away. Then, sharing the household with the children may be seen as a possible alternative. Others express that they primarily want to live together with their children in their old age. This preference is also represented in all three groups but seems to be most widespread among the interviewees with a Pakistani background. At any rate, most of the interviewees are careful in balancing their own demands with their children's needs, underlining that the final decision about co-residence lies with the children. Information about care services and attitude towards using them Knowing about the care services offered by the local authority is important both for reducing anxieties and worries for the future and for ensuring that each person receives the care services he or she is entitled to. Many of the interviewees see themselves as being well informed and feel they will be able to obtain more information if necessary. First of all, they are confident that their children will help them to do this. Many of the interviewees have children who work in the care services, particularly those from Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Others, however, do not feel they are well enough informed of the care services supplied by the local authority, and this especially applies to men from Pakistan. Some of them are engaged in voluntary work with countrymen their one age and they claim they are speaking on their behalf as well. Lack of information creates anxiety about the future and concern about not being taken seriously, and may also nourish myths, prejudices and unrealistic expectations about how the services function and are allocated. Almost all the interviewees have heard about the home services and few express a negative attitude towards using them. Nonetheless, many of the interviewees state a preference for help from their children rather than from the public services, at least as long as their need for assistance is not too extensive. Some of them are of the opinion that relatives who provide such care should be paid for their work by the local authority. The men from Pakistan are especially of this opinion. An elderly person who needs help with personal hygiene, care and continuous supervision will normally (under certain specified conditions) qualify for a place in a nursing home. Some of the interviewees say that if their health situation becomes so bad, they would appreciate and accept an offer of a place in such a home. They do not want to be a burden for their children. This opinion is represented in all three groups, but appears to be most widespread among the interviewees from Sri Lanka. Others, however, express very clearly that they want their children to help, also in situations where they might need extensive help and care. They consider the nursing home as an option for people without families. Again, men from Pakistan are the most eager supporters of this idea, but this opinion is also represented in the other two groups. The young generation'sattitude towards helping their parents The main topic of the interview with the young informants was how far they were willing to go to assist and care for their elderly parents (on the condition that their parents live in Norway). The results indicate that the young interviewees are willing to go to the greatest possible lengths to help their mother and father, regardless of the interviewees' country of origin, age or gender. The interviewees find the motivation for doing this in the norm of reciprocity and religious duty. In many cases, another reason for providing assistance is of a more practical nature as few of the parents speak Norwegian. Geographical distance is often essential for the young generation's possibility to provide practical help and care to their parents. Most of the interviewees live in the same city as their parents, often within walking distance. Several of the young interviewees are already helping their parents, and deviate in this respect from their peer group in the rest of the population (Veenstra m. fl.2009). Even though the dominant picture is that the young interviewees have a strong motivation to help their parents, there are some variations in the answers. Most clearly this is demonstrated when the question is about care situations that will require extensive help. First, there are variations between interviewees according to their country background. The ones to hold on to the family care model the most are the interviewees with a Pakistani background. Second, there are differences between men and women. Apparently, the young women have a more rational attitude towards the question about a nursing home for their parents who, due to health problems, cannot manage on their own. One possible reason for this difference may be that several of the women have working experiences from the public care services for the elderly, especially those from Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Similarities and differences between the three groups There are many similarities between the groups. Among these similarities we find health situation and employment, family network and contact between the elderly and the young generation, as well as the young generation's motivation and willingness to take care of their aging parents. At the same time, the results indicate that there are certain differences in the groups' attitudes towards using public care as opposed to family care, although these differences are not very distinct but more like inclinations. The line of demarcation is between those who prefer public care services and those who think care from relatives (in practice, the children) is best, also in situations that require extensive care and continuous supervision. Interviewees from Sri Lanka dominate the first category, whereas interviewees from Pakistan dominate the second. Nevertheless, what the interviewees have in common is that they are all situated in a context with well developed public care services and where the majority of the population prefers public care services to family care (Daatland and Herlofson, 2004:82). Most likely this will influence the groups that are represented in this study in the same direction. Also, the development of the services themselves may make them more attractive to groups that until now have shied away from them. More emphasis on the freedom to choose and the right of codetermination, in addition to better standards (for instance single rooms at nursing homes) make it easier and more attractive to combine public and family care. All in all, there is little doubt that the development is moving in a direction where families with a minority background will increase their use of the public care services. At the same time, many elderly immigrants still prefer help from their families to public assistance, and many of the young generationalso wanttocontributeto the care of their parents. The challenge for the local authorities is to find programmes that support the families' motivation and capacity to contribute. The local authorities must, however, not take it for granted that all families have the same motivation and resources to participate. Neither should such programmes be at the expense of the caregivers or of the quality of the care. Given these conditions, such a combination of public and family care might turn out to be good elderly (parental) care.Rapporten handler om tre innvandrergruppers forventninger til alderdommen. Informantene har opprinnelse i Vietnam, Sri Lanka eller Pakistan. Prosjektet har to hovedmål: 1) Å undersøke informantenes kjennskap til kommunenes pleie- og omsorgstjenester og holdningen de har til å bruke tjenestene. 2) Å få innsikt i de unges innstilling til å yte omsorg og hjelpe sine foreldre når de blir gamle. Datainnsamlingen består av kvalitative intervju (gruppevise eller individuelle) med 70 personer. De som er over 50 år, blir i rapporten definert som «eldre», mens de under 50 år blir regnet som «unge». Flertallet av informantene over 50 år sliter med helsa. Så godt som alle regner med å tilbringe alderdommen i Norge. De unge gir uttrykk for en sterk motivasjon og vilje til å hjelpe og yte omsorg til sine aldrende foreldre.