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’.

Who's involved

  • University of Sheffield: Professor Sue Yeandle,
  • University of Alberta: Professor Janet Fast
  • University of Auckland: Professor Matthew Parsons
  • University of Sydney: Professor Kate O’Loughlin,
  • Zhejiang University: Professor Ka Lin,
  • MBE Carers, UK: Ms. M Starr
  • Employers for Carers Forum, UK: Ms. K. Wilson
  • The Policy Press, UK: Ms. J. Mortimer
  • Institute of Population and Labor Economics, China: Director General Professor Zhang Juwei,
  • Macquarie University: Gabrielle Meagher
  • RMIT: Fiona McDonald and Sara Charlesworth
  • University of Sydney [CEPAR]: Prof Marian Baird, Prof Lindy Clemson, Prof Hal Kendig, A/Prof Kate O’Loughlin and Dr Vasoontara Yieng
  • UNSW [SPRC]: Prof Deb Brennan, Prof Lyn Craig and Dr Trish Hill
  • University of Western Australia, Prof Loretta Baldassar
  • University of Alberta: Jacquie Eales, Prof Janet Fast and Dr Yoohong Min
  • McMaster University: Prof Allison Williams
  • Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences: Prof Arlene Astell
  • University of Toronto: Prof Ito Peng
  • University of Jyvaskyla: Prof Teppo Kröger
  • University of Vechta: Prof Hildegaard Theobald
  • Zittau-Görlitz University: Prof Andreas Hoff
  • INRCA: Dr Giovanni Lamura
  • Japan Lutheran College: Dr Mai Yamaguchi
  • Japan Institute for Labor Policy & Training [JILPT]: Shingou Ikeda
  • University of Auckland: Prof Stephen Jacobs, Dr John Parsons, Prof Matthew Parsons
  • Massey University: Prof Fiona Alpass
  • Zuyd University: Prof Marieke Spreeuwenberg
  • University of Bergen: Prof Karen Christensen
  • Jagiellonian University: Dr Jolanta Parek-Bialas
  • University of Warsaw, Dr Weronika Kloc-Nowak
  • University of Ljubljana: Dr Masa Filipovic-Hrast, Dr Valentina Hlebec, Dr Tatjana Rakar, Dr Zaenka Sadl
  • CSIC: Dr Inés Calzada, Dr Francisco Javier Moreno-Fuentes
  • Linnaeus University: Prof Elizabeth Hanson
  • National Yang Ming University: Dr Li-Fang Liang