This guest editorial introduces a special issue entitled ‘Older migrants: (im)mobilities of ageing’. The movement of people is a core concern of population geographers and the last decade has witnessed a ‘mobilities turn’. This literature has given much attention to younger people who move, but thus far has largely ignored people who migrate in later life, or whose previous migrations significantly shape their present experiences of ageing. The articles in this special issue address this lacuna, drawing on different categories of older international migrants to and from various European countries. More specifically, the special issue’s ambition is to respond to two questions. What added value does the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ contribute to the study of older migrants, who may have migrated long ago or be less mobile today than in the past? And conversely, what added value does studying older migrants contribute to the mobilities paradigm? While acknowledging earlier critiques of this paradigm, we contend that the mobilities perspective helps to elucidate the experiences of older migrants, through its insistence on the capacity for mobility – whether physical, virtual, communicative, imaginative – at diverse scales, including but certainly not limited to international cross-border moves. Mobility thus conceived is an important but neglected factor for older people to achieve better quality of life. We also argue that research with older migrants offers rich potential for refining the mobilities paradigm, for example in terms of ‘mobility regimes’ governing access to healthcare and social protection, to which older migrants may be particularly exposed.
- older migrants
- old age