Photo: Public Domain

DFG PflewaK Project
Long-term Care Events in the Context of Family of Choice Using the Example of LGBT People in Need of Care – Importance of Social Networks in Long-Term Care

In the PflewaK project we examine the way in which age-related care requirements are dealt with in the context of family of choice social networks. Families of choice are non-kinship relationships. Our research predominantly focuses on individuals who define themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* or inter*, but we also include heterosexuals in the study for the purposes of comparison. The aim of our project is to discover which forms of social support emanate from family of choice networks and the role that this support plays in coping with care events. We also hope to carry out research into the experiences with elderly assistance of senior LGBTI* citizens and their relatives and dependants. The aim of this is to provide inspiration for a more diversity-sensitive evolution of the healthcare and elderly assistance system.

Background and Objectives
Social support in old age contributes to the preservation of mental and physical health. Especially in the case of individuals in need of care, families (of choice), friends and acquaintances can provide a diverse range of support.
In our society, practical, emotional and nursing assistance is frequently provided by adult children and partners. However, in our project our focal target group is LGBTI* individuals, who in comparison to cis gender and heterosexual people are more often childless and unattached. Against this background we ask the question as to the types of social network that LGBTI* seniors are able to fall back upon should they require care and how they manage their care requirements with their relatives. In this connection we also plan to include single heterosexuals (with and without children) in the study in order to find out how sexual orientation and/or gender identity influences the way in which care requirements are dealt with beyond family status.

Data Acquisition
In order to answer our research questions, from January 2023 onwards we plan to conduct approximately 30-40 qualitative interviews. The interviews last approx. 2 hours. The data will be obtained and stored in compliance with GDPR rules.


Phone: 0049-0391886 42 83

Project Management

Health Policy

Prof. Dr. Ralf Lottmann

Phone: (0391) 886 42 50

Office: House 1, Room 2.31

further information

Hintergrund Bild