Multigenerational caregiving for older people in Bali : combining macro and micro perspectives to understand ageing, family, and caregiving : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor in Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand. EMBARGOED to 17 January 2025.

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Most of the existing research on family caregiving focuses on the nuclear family, consisting only of parents and children as the research population and women as the primary caregivers. Research on family caregiving needs to take into account demographic and social-cultural contexts. Thus, I sought to explore caregiving and ageing in multigenerational households. As populations continue to age, older people’s needs for special care has become a critical issue that affects families as the primary support of older people and sometimes presents a burden for families in terms of caregiving. While we are witnessing the development of public provisions to support our ageing population, at the same time, the cultural obligation to care for older generations may be reinforced by policies, effectively shifting state responsibilities to the private sphere. The study was framed by a critical gerontology approach to ageing issues from two perspectives: political-moral economy and humanistic gerontology. Critical gerontology provides space for a dialogue between macro and micro perspectives in understanding ageing and family caregiving. The research was conducted in Bali, where most older people live in multigenerational households. At the macro level of caregiving, this study aimed to critically review the regional ageing policies in Indonesia. Using critical discourse analysis, this study explored constructions of older people’s identities in regional ageing policies and found two identity constructions, namely “material ageing” and “cultural ageing”. Such positioning has macro and micro effects on ageing and caregiving practices. At the intersection between macro and micro levels of caregiving, individual narrative interviews were conducted from January until May 2020 with 49 members of 11 multigenerational households to explore the social construction of ageing and family caregiving specific to Balinese culture. Thematic analysis, narrative analysis, and discursive positioning analysis were used to analyse the interview data, exploring: (a) important aspects of local knowledge about multigenerational caregiving reported by participants; (b) the role played by the local narratives in shaping family members’ stories of multigenerational caregiving; and (c) how two dominant ageing discourses in regional ageing policies, “decline” and “successful ageing”, were taken up by older people and their family members in constructing their stories on ageing and family caregiving. I discussed the collective implications of these findings for the micro experiences of ageing and policy and developed a theoretical model of multigenerational caregiving, including its opportunities and challenges by synthesising the findings into a socioecological model. This model provided the basis for an analysis of the intersection between private and public domains of multigenerational caregiving and suggestions for initiatives at the family, community, society, and cultural levels to ensure the sustainability of family caregiving in Bali as well as providing support for the family caregivers.
Listed in 2022 Dean's List of Exceptional Theses
Embargoed to 17 January 2025
Older people, Care, Caregivers, Indonesia, Bali (Province), Bali (Indonesia : Province), Social policy, Dean's List of Exceptional Theses