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OASIS is an international research project, funded within the 5th Framework Program of the European Community and is registered there as contract No. QLK-CT-1999-02182, acronym: "OASIS".

This study has the commission of the European Communities, specific RTD programme "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources", QLK-CT-1999-02182, "OASIS". It does not necessarily reflect its view and in no way anticipates the Commission's future policy in this area.

Objectives of the research project:

Population aging and changing family norms challenge to social integration and policies in Europe. The goal is to learn how family cultures and service systems support autonomy and delay dependency in old age, to promote quality of life and improve the basis for policy and planning.

The project will:

  • Study the balance between family care and service systems and its relation to elders' quality of life;

  • Study variations in family norms and transfers (intergenerational solidarity) across age cohorts in various countries;

  • Study how individuals and families cope when in risk of dependency (intergenerational ambivalence).

A cross-cultural, cross-generational approach is used, comparing solidarity and ambivalence in more traditional societies (Spain, Israel) with more modern countries (UK, Norway, Germany), to compare various welfare regimes (institutional, conservative, residual), and 3 generations (older, middle age, younger). To our knowledge this is the first study of that kind. Description of the work The study will analyze the interaction role of families, service systems and individual coping on quality of life in old age. Comparative data from 5 countries (Spain, Israel, UK, Norway, Germany) across the generations will enable us to study norms, expectations and behaviors regarding elder care, based on the following research questions. What is the actual and preferred balance between families and service systems? Are families and services substituting or complementing? How do family norms and practices (family culture) impact the service system, and vice-versa, how are they influenced by the welfare regimes? How do these behavioral and normative patterns vary between countries and generations? What are the normative ideals of intergenerational care and living arrangements in the various countries? To what extent are these norms shared across cohorts/generations, and what changes are to be expected for the future The design is based on combined quantitative and qualitative methods with cross-sectional and a longitudinal approach. The baseline data will be collected through a survey (cross-sectional) in all 5 countries from representative samples split up in 2 age groups: G1- 25 to 74 years with N=800, and G2- age 75+ oversampled with N=400, totaling N=1,200 in each country; N=6,000 in the 5 countries.

It will address all 3 subject areas and how they interact:

  1. Family norms and transfers

  2. Access to and satisfaction with service systems

  3. Competence and coping

The survey will identify elders at risk of dependency, and a sample of 25-40 dyads (totaling 50-80 participants in each country) of elders and their "primary adult child care person" will be selected and interviewed with in-depth interviews (T1) and re-interviewed at T2, after 12 months, focusing on coping and quality of life. Milestones and expected results.

The expected results of the study will be:

  • To generate recommendations for enhancing efficiency, quality and user acceptability of services at the beginning of care provision to elderly;

  • To shed light on links between dynamics of family intergenerational and caring relations and service systems' access and satisfaction to quality of life of their elder members;

  • To foster design of appropriate public policies in aging European societies and Israel and guide the extension of autonomy of elders in various geographical and socio-economic settings.

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