The cost of care: Caring responsibilities and gainful employment in middle age

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/12/2013
Funding: 3681000 SEK


In Sweden, as elsewhere, informal care-givers for elderly and disabled persons are typically in their late 40s to early 60s. However, this kind of care-giving by people of working age has received markedly little research attention in Sweden. Thus, the cost of caring, i.e. its impact on care-givers? employment and financial position, remains unexplored. Theoretically, the study builds on feminist welfare research, which emphasises how different welfare states respond to individuals? care needs and thus to the social rights of both care recipients and care-givers. The aim is to analyze which middle aged people juggle gainful employment and caring responsibilities, and how they do so. Since previous Swedish studies have shown that informal care is more common among women, those with shorter education and those born outside the Nordic countries, the study will analyze the significance of gender, class and ethnicity for the cost of caring. The mixed method study includes a survey of a random sample of 6,000 persons aged 45-64 years and semi-structured interviews with a strategic sample of 40 survey respondents. Both components will investigate experiences of and views on: 1) caring responsibilities for older parents and other disabled or ill family members/relatives; 2) the possible impact of any caring responsibilities on employment, financial position and everyday life; and 3) received and preferred support in the form of care services, leave from work and payments for care.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:56