The issue of care is explored in work package 4. The aim here is to discuss the responsibilities associated with care and how different policies shape them. We provide information on how older people (aged 65 and over) and their close relatives plan for old age and prepare for their existing and potential needs for help and care. The study looks at what and whose resources are considered and used when care is required. Attention will also be paid to the impact of previous life choices on an older person in relation to:

  • family
  • work
  • retirement
  • wealth
  • health
  • services
  • social relationships

These choices are strongly tied to the time and circumstances in which they were made.

Organisation of care and cost recovery

Organising care and covering the costs of it are an integral part of generational and gender agreements inter-generational. These are, in terms of the welfare state, unspoken agreements about the responsibilities of different genders and members of generations, especially in paid work and care. The point here is that the working-age generations, through their gainful employment and the payment of taxes, ensure the livelihood and care of younger and older people and those other groups of people who are unable to care for themselves.

Meaning of generational and gender agreements

Inter-generational and gender agreements define and shape solidarity: how different generations help each other financially and in practice, such as by providing informal care. This is influenced by the level of available resources and by the cultural norms that shape attitudes, expectations and practices. It is particularly important to pay attention to gender when pursuing an economically and socially sustainable welfare state as the population ages and as societal expectations and opportunities are gendered.

Focus of this work package

1. Data collection
2. Gender and generational agreements
3. Policies influencing care decisions
4. The cost of care
5. The life course shaped by the institutions


Minna Zechner

Associate Professor Minna Zechner from the University of Helsinki is responsible for this work package.

Other researchers are:

  • Tiina Sihto from the University of Helsinki