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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 2.19
Between geriatric colonialism and liberal entrepreneurialism: the case of care homes for Germans in Poland
Care infrastructures that regulate who is paying for what and who provides care can be seen as one of the key manifestations of intergenerational solidarity. Neoliberal shifts in various European social security arrangements have resulted in new strains on families to organize care for their elderly. Families resort to exploiting the economic power geometries within the European Economic Area to craft transnational care packages that suit their individual situations. Much discussed is the employment of migrant care workers in private homes. Yet less researched is the movement of the aging body to places where care is cheaper. This paper is based on preliminary research on care homes for German elderly in Poland, which are mostly situated in areas that changed their state affiliation between the two countries. In Poland, care homes are part of the dominant neoliberal logic that abandons certain parts of the population. The potential German clientele is potentially enforcing this logic. Looking from Germany, the lines between private responsibilities and public funding are however blurred, since even statutory insurances take over some of the costs of care in Poland. We share in this paper various and contradictious readings of this emergent phenomenon which range from “geriatric colonialism” to entrepreneurialism, or “granny deportation” to return-migration of Germans. We foreground unexpected forms of relating that emerge between care entrepreneurs and elderly (unexpected solidarities), and analyze how care infrastructures are crafted by very diverse non-state actors, ranging from international co-operations to family businesses (intergenerational solidarity as business).