Who Cares for Whom? Determinants of Informal Solidarity towards Older Adults in the French West Indies and Reunion Island.

Maude Crouzet , Université de Strasbourg

The French overseas territories present a unique situation in the world and offer a very interesting setting for the study of informal solidarity. As an integral part of the French Republic, they have the same administrative status as any other region of France, yet their remote location and distance from the mainland creates a very different social context, marked by income poverty, families scattered between their island and the mainland, and strong traditions of solidarity. In this communication, we choose to focus on three overseas territories (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion), which are currently undergoing a rapid ageing of their population; therefore the question of care for the elderly is of concern there. We seek to identify the determinants of receiving informal care for people aged 60 to 79, according to who provides it. We use data from the Migrations, Family and Ageing survey, a large official survey conducted in the French overseas territories in 2009-2010. We find that education is the main determinant of receiving informal care no matter the provider, followed by health status. However, the health of the parent plays little role when it comes to care provided by children. These findings indicate that intergenerational solidarities exist independently of older people’s health needs, but that other sources of informal care may complete or replace care from children when the health status deteriorates.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality