Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


AGEWELL — Result In Brief

Project ID: 328518
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: Switzerland
Domain: Health, Society, Fundamental Research

Better insight into Europe’s ageing migrants

Older migrants in Europe are on the rise. An EU initiative explored the rapid ageing of Switzerland’s migrant population to provide overall answers concerning care and well-being.
Better insight into Europe’s ageing migrants
Several factors have contributed to the increase in older migrant populations. What is also becoming increasing clear is that some of them reach retirement age at their destinations while others choose to migrate after retirement.

The EU-funded AGEWELL (Ageing migrants’ well-being: The structuring of local welfare provisions at the intersection of public, private, third sector and the family) project studied ageing Swiss migrants, local welfare schemes and care provisions. It focused on institutions’ perceptions of older migrants, provision of welfare services, and older Germans and Italians in Switzerland.

Project partners carried out 57 interviews with German and Italian migrants over the age of 63, and with one focus group in the Basel, Geneva and Ticino cantons. They also interviewed 33 representatives from institutions that provide services to the elderly, including migrants. These were various formal care providers in the public and private sectors, as well as informal providers such as family.

One finding shows that older migrants rarely contact institutions. Typically, this contact is facilitated by their adult children who are well integrated and master French or German. Representatives from the three cantons’ local institutions acknowledge the heterogeneity of this group. The institutions do not marginalise this population or view it as opposing and different from the Swiss.

Another finding reveals that there are few specialised welfare services targeting elderly migrants. These are provided mainly by migrant associations. Individually tailored public sector services mostly rely on providers’ time availability and receivers’ characteristics. A solution is to formalise policies that consider cultural variations, and encourage more exchanges between researchers and policymakers in specialised services development.

Research into the heterogeneity of German and Italian migrants shows that ethnic associations are vital for socialising and exchanging information. The two groups understand that there are limitations to depending on family for care during old age, and prefer formal home care if in need.

AGEWELL led to a better understanding of local welfare policies that contribute to the well-being of ageing migrants.

Related information


Ageing migrants, older migrants, well-being, AGEWELL, local welfare provisions
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