Ageing and migration: transforming personal networks and everyday activity limitations among native and migrant populations in Estonia

Liili Abuladze, Tallinn University
Luule Sakkeus, Tallinn University

Migrants in Estonia have shorter life expectancy than the native population, but have higher risks of disability. This controversial situation is one of the motivations to seek answers in their social networks that might explain some differences in the disablement process. This study looks at the limitations in everyday activities of people aged 50 years and older in Estonia. Data for this analysis comes from the fourth wave SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe). We explore the relationship between social networks and disability outcomes among foreign and native populations with logistic regression analysis. We included 3402 native and 1219 migrant population representatives in our analysis. The dependent variable in all models is ‘Limitations in everyday activities’ based on the Global Activity Limitation Index (GALI) disability measure; control variables include: gender, age, education, employment status, partnership status, geographic proximity of network members, existence of long-term illnesses, receiving practical or personal help. Preliminary results show that older migrants in Estonia with no confidant networks are most likely to be severely limited. On the other hand migrants with one child in their networks have the highest likelihood of being less severely limited, indicating possibly a more family-based support network compared to the natives. Native older population seems to have more friends in their confidant networks, referring to more diverse networks. The differences in satisfaction with relationships among migrants are small in terms of the likelihood of severe limitations. Migrants with high satisfaction level with networks are more likely to be less severely limited than migrants with low satisfaction - this is opposite among natives.

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Presented in Session 31: Social networks among new immigrants and the foreign born