Evolving Gender Differences in Health & Care across Cohorts (FUTUREGEN)

In old age (60+), women live, on average, longer than men, but live a greater portion of their lives in poor health. At the same time, women are more likely to use care services than men and to be informal care-givers. Older adults’ health and care-giving/receiving are two clear examples of existing inequalities between men and women. FUTUREGEN aims to understand how entwined GENder inequalities in health and care-giving/receiving evolve across GENerations in connection with cultural and social contexts and individual realities, and how identified sex/gender inequalities may evolve in the FUTURE. Current gender inequalities in health and care can be attributed to present- day circumstances and to how people live their lives. Both are changing, but we know little about how these changes are shaping health and care and future sex/gender inequalities. Are health inequalities between men and women narrowing as women achieve greater economic independence? Will shifting cultural norms mean future generations of older men will provide more care? Which measures of health avoid sex/gender bias? To answer these questions, we currently carry out a cohort analysis of changes to health and care inequalities and a study on the effect of widowhood on the use of different forms of care. A review of methods to study intersectionality of gender and socio-economic inequalities has been carried out and a qualitative study on the views of older people on healthy ageing is planned.

Gender-ERA-Net, FWF – Austrian Science Fund, Swedish Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Susan Phillips, Queen’s University (Canada); Stefan Fors, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)