Understanding care and support in Indonesia

How can the care needs of older people be met in sustainable, fair, and culturally acceptable ways? This question is at the heart of new research led by Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya Jakarta and the University of Southampton (UK), together with Loughborough University (UK) and Oxford University (UK).
The study seeks to reveal the diverse nature of older Indonesians care needs, including their functional and cognitive limitations. It asks who provides care, what acceptable care looks like, and where gaps in care provision emerge.

Hezti Insriani/University of Southampton

Ensuring that all older people are able to enjoy all of their rights cannot be achieved without major healthcare, social protection, and long-term care system reform which considers the experience of those older people who require care and support. Long-term care system development is just beginning to be recognised by low and middle-income countries such as Indonesia as a key aspect of adapting societies for population ageing.
And yet, there is a huge gap in evidence on what the needs, preferences, and experience are of people with care and support needs and those who play a role in providing that, whether family and friends or various health and care providers. Even where some of this information exists, there are often gaps in who has been included, and yet, to develop a strong long-term care and support system, we need to understand the diversity of care needs, who provides care and what its impact is on them, what acceptable care can look like and where gaps exist in care and support provision.



This policy brief, Older People s Care Networks in Indonesia: Findings and Policy Recommendations, is the first glance at findings and recommendations produced by a comparative study on older people s care involving ethnographic research in five locations across Indonesia (2019-2023). The study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, UK). HelpAge is providing inputs into the policy implications, advocacy messages, and communication of the findings of the study.

Aims of the study

The study asks how we, as a society, can ensure that older people receive care and support that enables well-being and dignity. The aims of the study are to understand:
  • Who is involved in older people s care;
  • What older people s preferences and needs are; and
  • How families can be supported by health services, governmental, and non-governmental institutions.

The summary of key findings are that

  • Care dependence is rare but also universal
  • Families are committed to providing care
  • Some older people do not receive the care they need
  • Use of health services is unacceptably low among older people
  • Healthcare volunteers in Indonesia provide important support but more is needed.

Access the research brief here

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