Changing roles of elders in the family

Jolanta Pivorienė


The aim of the article is to discuss the role changes in old age. In the article, two role changes are analyzed in depth: transition from the role of parents to grandparents and transition from a role of a spouse to that of a widow. The article is based on qualitative study (interview) in which seven elderly persons have participated.
Research data revealed that parents experience sadness and loneliness after the last child leaves the family. Also the relationship of parents-children become more distant and rare. The role of a parents modifies into that of a grandparent which is not so clearly defined and expressed.
Another important change in family life of elderly people is a change from a role of a spouse to a role of a widow, which weakens a network of social relations and increases dependency of elderly people.


aging; family; social role; role of parents; grandparents; spouse; widow

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789