What’s the Problem with Older People? A Policy Analysis of Selected Finnish Reports and Documents on Ageing, Care and Digitalisation

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This project report derives from the ‘Equal Care - Alone but connected? Dig-
ital (in)equalities in care work and generational relationships among older
people living alone’ (EQualCare), that is part of the Joint Programming In-
itiative More Years, Better Lives (JPI MYBL) funding programme. To quote
from the original project proposal:

“EQualCare aims to further understanding of, and policy devel-
opment on, the intersections of digitalisation with intergenerational
care work and care relationships of older people living alone, and to
contribute to reducing inequalities through collaboration and co-de-
sign. EQualCare interrogates inequalities by gender, cultural and
socio-economic background both between and within countries, with
their very different demographics and policy backgrounds.” (Equal
Care - Alone but connected? …, 2020, p. 2)

The background to the project concerns the recognition that digitalisation
has brought significant changes to perceived and enacted care relationships
in terms of distance and proximity between people. Whilst the digital age
adds new cultural expectations of care, collaboration and mutuality, it also
has the potential to perpetuate inequalities between generations, income
groups and countries. This is due at least in part to the care resources and
infrastructure that are readily available. Moreover, as people live longer, seek
more autonomous living, do not tolerate unsatisfactory family or household
relationships, and are obliged for various reasons to live alone, either tempo-
rarily or on a more permanent basis, living alone has become a central theme
to understanding later life. Living alone raises further specific challenges to
care work and on- and off-line care relationships, particularly in contexts and
situations where tensions with close or immediate hands-on physical caring,
as well as caring responsibilities involving younger generations, arise. Thus,
the relation of (self)care and digital webs of caring work towards and from
family members, friends and indeed wider circles of neighbours, acquaint-
ances and those of similar service or mutual co-operation organisations and
networks is of great empirical, policy and societal interest. (Equal Care -
Alone but connected? …, 2020, p. 2). These questions are the focus of EqualCare.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherHanken School of Economics
Number of pages43
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-232-486-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameWorking Papers
PublisherHanken School of Economics
ISSN (Electronic)2242-7082


  • 514,2 Social policy
  • policy
  • digital age
  • age
  • older people
  • care
  • Housing

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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