Project Details

Our project consists of six work packages:

1: Management and Coordination (WP leader: Pompeu Fabra): Team members at Pompeu Fabra will coordinate the project and organize key events.

2: Definitions, Measures and Determinants of Well-being at Older Ages (WP leader: UNIPD): This set of studies will investigate the determinants of health and well-being in older age. We will 1) Examine a wide set of aging measures (felt age, perception of old age, subjective life expectancy), 2) Test which factors are of particular importance for older people, accounting for the distinction between young old and oldest old, 3) Describe patterns of time use, changes in time use with ageing, and its impacts on subjective well-being and, 4) Investigate the direct and indirect effects of early-life conditions on the well-being of older people. We adopt a comparative approach to account for different cultural and policy contexts.

3: The Joys and Burden of Caring (WP leader: UWO): As a consequence of increased life expectancy coupled with fertility decline, compared to the early 1900s, grandparents today are more likely to survive throughout their grandchildren’s childhood and have fewer grandchildren. This has created an unprecedented opportunity for the development of intergenerational relationships. It is crucial to study the consequences of providing care (to grandchildren, aging parents, or partners) for the health and well-being of older adults. Our research will 1) Examine the prevalence of people who provide care to several family members, how this varies across countries, and how much of this variability can be explained by differences in the policy context, 2) Analyze the impact of providing grandparental childcare and other caregiving activities on different measures of wellbeing (physical and mental health, cognitive functioning) and ageing measures (e.g., subjective life expectancy), 3) Examine how the effect of multiple caregiving roles varies across countries as function of policies, and 4) Assess gender differences in the prevalence of multiple caregiving and how effects differ for women and men.

4: Retirement, Health, Caregiving and Well-being: Who, when, how? (WP leader: UFL): Our project will 1) Develop instruments for lasting and equitable pension systems, accounting for gender and age specificities, and national idiosyncrasies, 2) Investigate, how at the micro level, if and how career interruptions affect the timing of retirement decisions and the economic consequences of the transition to retirement, 3) Examine to what extent care provided to grandchildren, the partner or parents influence retirement decisions, and 4) Investigate how health, well-being, social contacts, standard of living, and time use change when people enter retirement, and will explore the differences between men and women, as well as differences across countries and welfare regimes.

5: Aging without Close Kin and Consequences on Wellbeing (WP leader: UCL): Our research will examine the populations of single, and vertical (childless) or horizontal (only children) kin-less older adults, and investigating how they differ across national contexts. We will 1) Address the question how the population of older adults without (close) kin is distributed in different countries, and how it is likely to change and grow in the future, 2) Examine how older adults without kin fare under different welfare models, and to what extent the state or social networks fill the gaps of families and 3) Investigate differences between men and women in the risks of being alone in older age and how the welfare system addresses the care needs of these subpopulations.

6: Dissemination (WP leader: NIDI): To document the findings of the project and to enhance dialogue between policy makers, civil society, and academia, we will work together to disseminate the project outputs.