Family is the main informal support system for the older population. Focusing on social network types, the chapter discusses the relevance of family-centered networks, restricted and diverse networks for wellbeing, and psychosocial risk in the aging process. Social network types and social support effectiveness are also pointed out as good predictors of health, mental health, and social or community participation. Familistic cultures represent different demands on informal support and social care, bringing enormous importance to the heiresses generations. Interpersonal relationships between generations are fueled by reciprocity in support throughout the life cycle. Intergenerationality closes its cycle when the offspring support their parents in older ages. Normativity in this cycle is broken with childlessness, which is less and less exceptional today. The emphasis on family ties in social care and the childless population’s increase transform future support expectations, challenging societies.
Part of the book: Improving Quality of Life