Jan 24, 2021

Sustainable Care: Connecting People and Systems


How can we make 21st century systems of care sustainable? And how can citizens be empowered to have more control over how care resources are accessed and care costs distributed? The care of older, sick and disabled people is a timely and important topic: population ageing, modernising health and social care systems, and new ways of organising/supporting care work (paid and unpaid) are critical issues for governments worldwide.

The sustainability of care is challenged by increasing population mobility and ageing and rising social inequalities which make commodified caring labour accessible to the most affluent but beyond reach for the less well-off, including many older, sick or disabled people.

Widening inequalities are challenging cultural practices, with important effects on care practices, which are often deeply embedded in familial and cultural values, yet under great pressure from economic and demographic change. This strain is felt most acutely among minority, migrant and indigenous populations, frequently drawn into ‘global care chains’ or facing care dilemmas within transnational family networks.

This research collaboration will analyse and compare these developments, assess their role in making care sustainable, theorise their impact and offer critical assessment of policy options.



Academic Publications

  • Kilkey, M., Merla, L. and Baldassar, L. (2018) The social reproductive worlds of migrants, Journal of Family Studies, 24:1, 1-4.
  • A M Officer, L Warth, N Keating & J R Beard: Age-friendly environments and their role in supporting Healthy Ageing DOI:10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0023

Policy inputs: 11 in total

  • Sue Yeandle, University of Sheffield, International Association of Carers’ Organizations, May 2018, guest speaker
  • Sue Yeandle, University of Sheffield, House of Commons, Feb 2018, guest speaker, All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Science and Policy, 2018
  • Sue Yeandle  Sep 2018, plenary keynote, All-Wales Carers Policy Conference, Cardiff, Policy developments in support of carers: an international perspective

Scholarly events: six in total

  • Sustainable Care Conference 2018: Researcher Training Day; Tam day, led by A McGregor (Theorising Wellbeing for Sustainable Care); Research & Policy Day: contributions from TUC, Care England, Carers UK, Care Quality Commission. ECRs from Sweden and Slovenia participated. Speakers included T Kroger, Finland; A Hoff, Germany, S Ygemonos, Eurocarers
  • CIRCLE Annual International Seminar – Professor Joan Toronto, Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota, USA, 14 May 2018.
  • Symposium: ‘Care ‘In’ and ‘Out of’ Place: towards sustainability and wellbeing in diverse and mobile contexts’, 2018 M Kilkey/L Ryan, U Sheffield + academics/policy partners.  Speakers discussed ageing, care needs and migration: A Hunter (U Edinburgh), I Calzada (Complutense U Madrid), D Horsfall (U York), K Hall (U Birmingham).


Sustainable Care team visit to Toronto Members of the UK-based Sustainable Care team and our Canadian team based at the University of Alberta visited Toronto from 19th– 23rd November, and met with partners and stakeholders in our programme to discuss research sharing; concepts, theories and methods; international collaborations; and spent an afternoon progressing our joint plans. In Toronto, our three focus areas were Migration and Mobility; Work-care Reconciliation; and Technology and Care. We also held a one-day International Forum on Care and Caregiving, in partnership with Carers Canada and the University of Toronto.


Academic Publications: five in total

  • Yeandle, S & Buckner, L 2017 Older workers and care-giving in England: the policy context for older workers’ employment patterns’ J Cross-Cultural Gerontology, Vol 32: 303–321.
  • Phillips, J & O’Loughlin, K  2017 Older Workers and Caregiving in a Global Context J Cross-Cultural Gerontology, Vol 32 DOI 10.1007/s10823-017-9328-2
  • Peng, I & Yeandle, S 2017 Eldercare policies in East Asia and Europe: Mapping policy changes and variations and their implications, UN Women Discussion Paper Series

 Policy inputs

  • S. Yeandle Public / policy symposium on  Conceptions of care, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia Oct 2017
  • S. Yeandle Advice to Government Office for Science on plans for a Government Green Paper on Social Care 2017

Scholarly events: eight in total

  • International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics, San Francisco USA, July 2017, “Support for Carers in Europe: what works well and why?” Eurocarers symposium ‘Towards a Strong Evidence Base for Carer-Friendly Systems in the EU’, presentation by S Yeandle and partners in new ESRC funded collaboration in Italy and Sweden
  • Community Work & Family Conference, Milan Italy, 23-25 May 2017, WUN Sustainable Care  Symposium. 4 papers presented by K O’Loughlin & S Yeandle, J Fast, J Min, L Funk & J Eales, M Kilkey & L Ryan, K Duncan & J Fast; ‘Recognition & rights in family care to adults: policy framing’; Symposium presented by , J Fast.
  • Law, Work & Family Care Symposium, Schulich Sch. of Business, York Univ., Toronto, Canada, 16-20 Feb 2017 , presentation: S Yeandle: ‘Combining work and care: an international perspective on alternative legal frameworks’.

Selected outcomes

Academic Publications

  • Keating N, Eales J, Funk L, Fast J, Min J. (2019). Life course trajectories of family care. International Journal of Care and Caring, (2)
  • Spann A, Vicente J, Allard C, Hawley M, Spreeuwenberg M, de Witte L. (2019). Challenges of combining work and unpaid care, and solutions: A scoping review. Health & social care in the community
  • Roos V, Keating N, Kahl C. (2019). Loneliness of older black South African women subjected to forcible relocation. Global health action, 12(1), pp. 1672329

Policy Inputs

  • Sue Yeandle / APPG on Social Care- inquiry into The Professionalisation of Social Care Workers / 2019
  • Sue Yeandle / HoL Inquiry – Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living – Call for Evidence / 2019
  • Sue Yeandle / APPG on Assistive Technology- Smart homes and the future of social care / Participation in advisory committee / 2019

Scholarly events

  • CIRCLE Annual International Seminar / Fiona MacDonald, RMIT and Ian Cunningham, University of Strathclyde / 19 June 2019
  • SC symposium Social care, healthcare and superdiversity / Professor Jenny Phillimore and Dr Kelly Hall, University of Birmingham / 19 November 2019
  • ‘Innovating for an Ageing Society’ – Innovation Caucus and SCP Roundtable / 2 May 2019


Visitors into CIRCLE from the University of Alberta and Linnaeus University. Further visits to SC partners and stakeholders in Japan, Australia and Taiwan in our programme to discuss research sharing; concepts, theories and methods; international collaborations; and spent an afternoon progressing our joint plans.