Intergenerational Solidarity in European Welfare States
Edited by Chiara Saraceno
Chapter 10: The Intergenerational Care Potential of Dutch Older Adults in 1992 and 2002
Theo van Tilburg and Suzan van der Pas INTRODUCTION It is expected that caring for the older population will be increasingly troublesome in the decades to come. This expectation is based predominantly on demographic developments, that is, an increasing absolute and relative number of older people. As a consequence, the need for care will increase and at the same time the provision of care will diminish because there will be less young and middle-aged people available to provide care. Increasing labour force participation of middle-aged women, traditionally an important category of carers, and increasing geographical mobility will also contribute to decreasing levels of care providing (de Boer 2005). Is this gloomy outlook of decreasing care potential correct? This chapter will address this question by describing the Dutch situation around the turn of the century, speciﬁcally focusing on the care potential available within intergenerational relationships. Relationships with adult children are among the most important when it comes to support and care provision to older adults (Broese van Groenou and van Tilburg 1996). Several researchers have studied the reasons behind the ranking of types of supporters for older adults. Litwak has made a major contribution to this ﬁeld of enquiry with his task speciﬁcity model (Litwak and Szelenyi 1969). He proposes that the match between task speciﬁcity and type of relationship determines who will provide what type of support to older adults. The model basically states that, since types of relationships vary with respect to proximity, long-term commitment, availability...
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