Caring for elderly parents :a new commitment of the third age
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The article explores the practices of elderly care in the Czech Republic from the life-course perspective, using qualitative research methodology: biographical interviews with women providing everyday care to their parents. The case of elderly care presents an opportunity to critically examine the concepts of the ‘third age’ and ‘young old’, that have fi gured prominently in theoretical and political debates concerning the life stage in which the need to care for one´s parents seems most likely to arise. In the ‘collective story’ based on the narratives of women aged 50-66 who provided everyday care for their elderly mother, I identify and describe the factors that infl uence how this stage in life unfolds and the decisions women make about their life/life course. I argue that in contemporary Czech society ‘young old age’ cannot be defi ned in terms of the absence of work commitments or the absence family care commitments, and that the original concepts dealing with this new period in life did not take the new commitments of care or the gendered aspect of them into consideration.