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The Elderly Providing Care for the Elderly in Tanzania and Indonesia: Making ‘Elder to Elder’ Care Visible

van Eeuwijk, Peter

Sociologus, Vol. 64 (2014), Iss. 1: pp. 29–52

5 Citations (CrossRef)

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Author Details

Dr. Peter van Eeuwijk, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zurich, and Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Inst

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The provision of care for the elderly by the elderly does not attract much attention in either Tanzania or Indonesia, as communities consider this care arrangement to be incompatible with normative values. Differences in care arrangements and practices are observable through ethnographic comparison; nevertheless, in both contexts most elderly caregivers develop considerable social agency in the context of problematic changes in health to their aged care recipients. In critical health moments, recourse to younger family and kin members as normative carers takes place, in Tanzania through pressure from kin, and in Indonesia through negotiation among kin. Non-kin care by old persons is encountered rarely or never in both study regions. However, different forms of care institutions managed by elderly principals are becoming increasingly important, not least as gatekeepers for new concepts of care for the elderly.