Age Relations and Care

In this research I engaged with older people using home care—whose voices are all too often unheard in academic and policy debates—to give insight into their experiences at the intersections of family care arrangements, self-care practices, and formal home care services. Home care policies often present families as ‘partners in care,’ a concept that takes for granted that all older people have families who are able and willing to provide care. Highlighting a gap between home care policies and lived experiences, I found that older people rarely take family care for granted. Rather, they actively try to shape their care arrangements to maintain a sense of independence and to mitigate the perceived burdens that their care needs place on their family. Learn more here.

This research was funded by SSHRC and Saint Elizabeth Health Care.


Lee, Y., Barken, R., & Gonzales, E.G. (2018). Utilization of Formal and Informal Home Care: How Do Older Canadians’ Experiences Vary by Care Arrangements? Journal of Applied Gerontology, Advance online publication.

Barken, R. (2017). ‘Independence’ Among Older People Receiving Support at Home: The Meaning of Daily Care Practices. Ageing & Society, Advance online publication.

Barken, R. (2017). Reconciling Tensions: Needing Formal and Family/Friend Care but Feeling Like a Burden. Canadian Journal on Aging, 36(1), 81-96.

Barken – Experiences of Home Care