Help and Care to Older Parents in the Digital Society




Work/Life Balance, Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity


This study examines the extent and predictors of employees’ help and care to their old parents
and aims to contribute to policy development enabling employees to combine full-time work
and caregiving to parents. Analyzing responses from 3332 Norwegian employees aged between
45 and 67 years with at least one living parent, we identified frequencies of different help and
care types and tested competing predictors. Assistance with digital technology was frequent, and
various types of practical support were common, but personal care provision was rare. Parents’
health and parents living alone were substantial predictors. Public home care services seemed
insufficient and were associated with employees providing more help and care. The findings
emphasize the family as a comprehensive care provider when the welfare state falls short. The
study concludes that adult children play a critical role in helping older people cope with limited
public services and challenges posed by the digital society.

Author Biographies

Heidi Gautun, Oslo Metropolitan University

Norwegian Social Research (NOVA). E-mail:

Christopher Bratt, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Department of Psychology


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How to Cite

Gautun, H., & Bratt, C. (2023). Help and Care to Older Parents in the Digital Society. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 13(4).