Mikkel Rytter (Anthropology) has received funding for a project on "The ethnic elderly and volunteer helpers: Family dynamics as a platform for municipal welfare innovation."
The project (Etniske ældre og selvudpegede hjælpere: Familiedynamik som afsæt for kommunal velfærdsinnovation) looks at the scheme for volunteer (literally, "self-appointed") helpers, under which municipalities pay someone such as a family member to perform specific tasks in caring for dependent elderly persons in their own homes. The scheme is used predominantly by ethnic minority families. In the two participating municipalities, ethnographic field studies will investigate how Pakistani, Turkish and Palestinian families which have (or are given) such helpers arrange elderly care, and what impact access to the scheme has on generational conditions, gender relations and family use of time. In addition, fieldwork in the two municipal administrations will follow the development, implementation and operation of the scheme. A key output of the project is the joint development of a course to improve the quality of the scheme. This will be part of a 'knowledge package' that on completion of the project can be extended to other municipalities and thus contribute to the challenge of the growing number of ethnic minority elderly. The project is a cooperation between Aarhus University, SFI - The National Centre for Social Research and Ishøj and Aarhus municipalities.