Gender Differences in Family and Paid Disability Help Among Older Adults: Evidence From the United States, Mexico, and Indonesia

Urvashi Jain , University of Southern California
Connor M. Sheehan, T. Denny School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University

As the global population ages, understanding caretaking becomes increasingly important. Caretaking is important for the well-being of the care recipient and also for the caretakers themselves. Yet who the caretakers are and how they vary by age, gender, and national context remains less clear. Here, we document the relationship of the caretakers to care-recipients and how they vary by recipient’s gender, age, and disability (ADL/IADL) in the United States, Mexico, and Indonesia. We used the 2014-15 Health and Retirement Study, the 2015 Mexican Health and Aging Study, and the 2014 Indonesia Family Life Survey and descriptive methods to document who caretakes. We find that in each of the countries men relied on their spouses for help. In contrast, women in each of the countries relied on their children for help. The United States had considerably higher levels of paid-help. Documenting who caretakes for disabled older adults across countries and cohorts is valuable for understanding global aging.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging