Ageing International

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 15-27

Intergenerational Relationships and Family Care and Support for Thai Elderly

  • John KnodelAffiliated withPopulation Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan Email author 
  • , Napaporn ChayovanAffiliated withCollege of Population Studies, Chulalongkorn University

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Intergenerational relations between older age parents and their children remain pervasive in Thailand. Over 70% of older persons live with or next to a child. Material assistance from children remains substantial. Desertion of elderly parents is quite rare. Family members, particularly children, are the main persons providing assistance to frail older persons. Nevertheless, co-residence with children has declined and living alone or only with a spouse has increased. Given projected smaller family sizes of future cohorts of older persons and the increasing migration of their children, these trends are certain to continue. Widespread access to telephones helps elderly parents to maintain social contact with distant children. Still, reduced numbers of adult children and their increased migration pose challenges for personal care of the elderly. Clearly adaptations by family and state are needed if the quality of life of Thai elders is to continue to improve.


Thailand Ageing Family support Living arrangements Older persons