Author: Nilufar Ahmed, Swansea University

Day Two – Wednesday 26th June

Strand – Health & Well Being and Social Care

Session Four: 9.30am – 11am

In the context of an increasingly diverse ageing population in Europe the care needs of the elderly are of heightened concern. The continued presumption that Asian families prefer to shun care services and ‘care for their own’, can lead to inequalities in the provision and access of health and care services. As the Bangladeshi community in the UK ages in place, meeting their care needs is of growing importance. A combination of factors including settled progeny and a growing reliance on health and welfare systems mean that many migrants have had to revise idealised notions about returning to Bangladesh in their old age. 

This paper reports on findings from a qualitative longitudinal study examining first generation Bangladeshi women in Tower Hamlets interviewed ten years apart in 2001 and 2011. It highlights the fluidity and complexity of care duties for those providing care in the UK and transnationally; and shows how family care is reinterpreted by family members over time and space. The longitudinal element of this study cautions against ethnographic snapshot studies which reify minority groups in their engagement with care providers through demonstrating how individuals’ relationships with care services changed over a decade.  As care services have developed to meet the needs of the Bangladeshi community, there is evidence of greater uptake of care services challenging notions that Asians/Muslims are reluctant to make use of care services.

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