The Family Caregiving programme is the first major programme dedicated to understanding family care of older persons in the Southern African region. This five-year programme aims to support family care by improving our understanding of how family care is experienced in the region.
In working with academics, policymakers and NGOs from the region and beyond, we aim to improve the attention and support family caregivers and older persons receive locally and regionally. Our data will help us understand how family members’ social relationships shape care by examining the financial, social and health consequences of care. By investigating challenges to carers’ and care receivers’ relationships, we aim to better inform how the state, communities, NGOs and individuals can support family care.
The Research Study
The Family Caregiving research study adopts a qualitative longitudinal explorative approach to understanding family care in the Southern African region.
More specifically we explore the concept of ‘familialism’, by thinking about the intended and unintended consequences of familialist policies in a region where so much intergenerational family care takes place. We are interested in exploring the racial, class and gender dynamics that underlie caregiving of older persons.
An expansive public engagement and collaborative approach which builds partnerships with communities, NGOs, government officials and the wider media to increase awareness and increase attention on the issue of family care of older persons. A focus on public participation and knowledge production with older persons is a critical element of the programme. Previous research indicates that the role of the family in caring for older persons is critical for improving their wellbeing but it is often made invisible, hidden from public discussion and debate. The aim of the public engagement programme is to actively engage with the public through different local, national and regional organisations and media to ensure an open discussion and improved understanding of family care and wellbeing of older persons in Southern Africa.
The workshops series is for all research members on the team and includes a wide range of interactive seminars, workshops and talks on a range of topics covering all parts of being a researcher such as writing fieldnotes to writing articles and funding applications, as well as designing curricula and supervising students.
The reading group will meet to discuss and cover key reading on African feminism and families, social protection and recognition, care ethics and Ubuntu as well as many more topics. Each session will be facilitated by a leading feminist scholars in the field.
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