Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The mobilities of care in later life: exploring the relationship between caring and mobility in the lives of older people

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rose Gilroy



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


There has been a renewed call for a revaluing of informal caring in order to counter the way that caring is undervalued, taken for granted, and invisible. Travel is one area where a detailed critique of this issue has emerged with the concept of ‘mobility of care’, however, this concept has only been applied in relation to younger age groups, and our understanding of mobilities of care in later life remains under-developed. By “mobilities of care” we mean journeys made for the purpose of giving and receiving informal care and support. In this paper draws on the mobility narratives of 99 older people (aged 55 and above) living in three locations in the North of England who participated in a two year qualitative longitudinal study that explored the inter-play between mobility, wellbeing, and life transitions. We focused on the experience of managing life transitions rather than assume chronology per se determines wellbeing. Narratives of ageing emphasise the importance of getting out and about, and being socially connected active citizens. Our study demonstrates that for many older people getting out and about is not for leisure or utility purposes but to give support and care. As such, these journeys have a particular significance in the lives of older people and in the construction of roles, meaning, and identity in later life.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Croucher K, Gilroy R, Bevan M, Attuyer K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ageing and Society

Year: 2021

Volume: 41

Issue: 8

Pages: 1788-1809

Print publication date: 01/08/2021

Online publication date: 11/02/2020

Acceptance date: 14/01/2020

Date deposited: 15/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0144-686X

ISSN (electronic): 1469-1779

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X20000100


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric