Exploring the Experiences of the Family Caregivers of the Older People Residing in Academic Campus of Higher Education in India

By: Tulika Bhattacharyya   Suhita Chopra Chatterjee  

There have been various studies on the experiences of family caregivers of older people in various settings like homes and hospitals but their experiences in academic campuses remain underexplored. Academic campuses in India have in recent years witnessed an increase in the proportion of older people due to the rise in the age of superannuation of faculty and co-habitation with older parents. However, such campuses continue to have a skewed program which favours the needs of the younger population. For the present study, a residential academic campus equipped with a healthcare facility was selected to understand the challenges of the family caregivers of the older people residing in it. Their experiences were understood with reference to –i) heterogeneity of the older people with respect to age and disease profile, ii) adequacy of the campus healthcare facility to meet their needs, and iii) challenges faced by the family caregivers in accessing the existing health facilities for their older kin. Social area survey and exploratory in-depth interviews were conducted with 154 older people. Findings show that while the campus health facility was not congenial for the older people, especially from an active ageing perspective, it served better as a space for long term care and for dying older persons. The paper suggests measures for redesigning academic campuses in order to make them conducive for older care.

Ageing, Academic campus, Family caregivers, Healthcare facility, End-of-life care
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Tulika Bhattacharyya

Prof. Suhita Chopra Chatterjee

Professor , Humanities and Social Sciences , Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur , India
-, India

She is a Professor of Sociology in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur. She runs a Government of India project on Elderly. Her recent publication includes a book, "Death and Dying in India: Ageing and End-of-Life Care of the Elderly", Routledge, UK.