Roles, responsibilities and the future care of older adults: A cross-cultural networking project


The population is ageing, and the need for care in later years is growing (World Health Organisation 2018). People aged over 60 comprise 13 per cent of the world population (25 per cent in Europe). This is a projection that people aged 80 and over will triple by 2050 from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million in 2050 (United Nations 2018).

New approaches to maintaining ethical care and support frameworks for older adults are emerging around the world. These approaches take many different forms, reflecting background demographic, economic, social and cultural contexts.

Aims and objectives

The original aims of the research proposal were to:

  1. Conduct initial scoping work
  2. Build a sustainable, international network that enabled the research team to explore the following questions:
    1. Whose responsibility is it to arrange care for older people? Does this responsibility fall on the older person him/herself; the family or friends; charities; or the State?
    2. How should these responsibilities be enacted through policy formation, in practice settings across cultures?
    3. What philosophical underpinnings support the enactment of elder care policy and practice in different cultures?

We utilised a case-study approach adopted across two different national settings – the UK and China. Our intention was to create a specific empirical focus for detailed, cross-cultural analysis which would act as a springboard for the exposition and exploration of a much wider range of varied, international and interdisciplinary approaches to the philosophy, policy and practice of the care of older adults.

Research groups and centres