Abstracts & Papers in Stream 4

Proponents of activation policies assume that labour force participation leads to enhanced social inclusion. Activation or 'making-them-work-longer' policy is also supported as a key element for 'active ageing'. However, there is limited evidence to support this explicit and widely accepted link between paid work and social inclusion, especially regarding those who find themselves marginal to the labour market, including older persons. This study, using a framework of social network and social relationships to assess the impact of paid work on social inclusion and participation in old ages in the Korean context, delivers contrasting arguments based on in-depth interviews with thirty four retirees.
The study underlines the importance of individual retirees' social network types in evaluating the effects of post-retirement working in enriching the social relationships and participation of retired persons. In doing so, it presents six different types of social network as emerged from the interviews; namely, work-oriented, family-centred, diverse and active, diverse but loose, socially isolated and disengaging. For instance, work cannot be treated as a valued means for self-fulfilment and social engagement for family-centred or disengaging persons in the same way that it could be for the work-oriented. The diverse and active type would find their social relations enriched via active participation in volunteering - not necessarily via a paid work. Moreover, work can have both inclusive and excluding effects. The study concludes that paid work is neither the only nor the best way for every older person's social participation and inclusion in later life. It accordingly suggests a diversified policy to meet individual needs in terms of enhancing social participation and in turn quality of life in old ages.


Yunjeong Yang
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford


Full paper: Yangyunjeong_2010_WorknSocialNetwork.pdf

Faced with aging of the Taiwanese population, changing of the traditional familial structure and marital behavior, and diminishing familial care for the elderly; day care centers have become increasingly important in the daily lives of the elderly, assisting their continuance in social interaction. This study focuses on the specific care designs and functionalities of two day care centers that tailor to the needs of the elderly.
 The study utilized the three major components of successful aging proposed by Rowe and Khan (1998) to analyze two day care centers established by the YMCA in Tainan, Taiwan. Through interviews with the residents, the study assesses the effects of different settings, environmental surroundings, and operational models on the daily lives of the disabled elders and dementia patients.   
The study shows that the day care center employing the single unit care design tends to reestablish the sense of family in the community and facilitates social interaction. However, the day care center employing the multi-units care design, separating disabled elderly and dementia patients into different groups according to the severity of their condition, provides the appropriate care and space needed, and improves interaction within the groups. Both types of care designs help the elderly remodel ideal personal roles and become active participants in daily living in their respective communities. Combined with professional assistance and planned activities, day care centers aid the elderly to remain closely connected to their families and communities, and support their aging in place.

Following Holland, Germany, Japan and Korea, Taiwan government is planning to implement long-term care insurance system in 2011. In order to complete the task quickly, Taiwan government started to put together a draft law in 2009 and plans to submit to the Congress in 2010. The reasons for the haste steps toward carrying out long-term insurance by the government are as follows. 1. A rapid growth of aging in the near future. 2. Unstable economic growth. 3. Weakened care resources by family. The aims of the new insurance system are easing burden on family and increasing employments.

The purposes for implementing the long-term care insurance are to ease burden of elderly care as well as to create new employment opportunities. However, it is difficult to carry out the law in 2011 due to various problems of the present long-term care conditions in Taiwan. These problems are care services differences among local governments, shortage of care workers, and misunderstanding of care work by society. It is possible to infer that these problems are caused by the foreign care worker policy which implemented without much thought.

To keep up with the rapid aging population, needless to say, it is necessary to reconstruct present care policy. However, it is necessary to consider whether the long-term care insurance system would to be the only measure to be reviewed. Based on this viewpoint, I will review the foreign care worker policy in Taiwan and then point out problems of the policy. Then, point out an idea of multiethnic cooperative society model in order to deal with the society which characterized with increasing in foreign wives and the foreign care worker policy.

 Name: MingFang, HSU
 Institution: Department of Kansei Design, Hachinohe Institute of Technology
 Email address: zyo@hi-tech.ac.jp



Full paper: HsuMingfang_2010.pdf