To move or not to move? Decision-making about migration or ageing-in-place for older Orthodox Jewish people from Gateshead
When older people move from where they live to go elsewhere, if the distances are short it is called relocation, or if the move is over state or national borders, migration. Push factors are dissatisfaction with the present residence, or incapacities; leading to short-distance moves to be near, or to cohabit with, adult children, in order to receive support. These individuals are the ‘old-old’ and ‘oldest-old’, mostly single, poorer, and less healthy. A pull factor is when people want to access a better lifestyle and an increased standard of living. These long-distance migrants tend to be ‘young-old’, healthier, financially secure, newly retired, and married. This thesis explores the migration and relocation of older Orthodox Jews from Gateshead, and studies the priorities and criteria that influence the decision-making process, as well as triggers and barriers to leaving. Being a member of this community, I conducted this research as an insider using constructivist grounded methodology. I conducted 33 in-depth interviews with older people who have migrated or not, including nine with adult children. The migrants ranged from ‘young-old’ to ‘oldest-old’, were married, generally in good health and well-rooted in their community, with extensive social and work attachments in Gateshead. This represents a unique migration in that they are not moving for care, or out of necessity or dissatisfaction, nor are they aiming to increase their standard of living, but to live near and help their children. The decision-making process is both complex and multi-layered. The older people ordered their priorities and considered how their decisions would affect them and their wider network, and taking into account all their resources, select the option that best met everyone’s needs. Decisions were influenced by interdependency with children, neighbours, friends and work colleagues. This interdependency, in which work and volunteering played significant roles, was mediated by reciprocity, the desire not to be a burden, and to remain independent and autonomous. The children facilitated anything that aided these priorities. It was also clear that the demarcation of 65 years as the beginning of an ‘old age’ marked by dependency and infirmity is both arbitrary and inaccurate. Policy makers should recognise the contributions older people can and do make to families and communities. Facilitating and supporting these contributions would improve the health and well-being of older people.
Ageing and the Elderly Age and Generational Issues Main Topic: Other Migration Care and Welfare Family and Household Orthodox Judaism Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews
Available under License Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication CC0 1.0 Universal.
Link to download in university repository, To move or not to move? Decision-making about migration or ageing-in-place for older Orthodox Jewish people from Gateshead
To move or not to move? Decision-making about migration or ageing-in-place for older Orthodox Jewish people from Gateshead. . https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-2532