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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

residence location or retirement savings plans. Almost one-fifth have reduced their own work hours to make time for family members’ care.

Boomers Look First to Faith, Then Family, to Help Them Cope

When asked about their own sources of assistance, cohort members who provide eldercare are most likely to mention faith-related sources. Sixty-two percent draw strength from prayer, while 42 percent have obtained support from religious institutions.

Personal relationships, including those with siblings, friends, and other family members, are the next most frequently mentioned sources of aid. About 20 percent have turned to government, community groups, or nonprofit organizations.

Differences among Racial and Ethnic Groups

While many older boomers share many attitudes and other attributes that distinguish their generation, members’ racial and ethnic backgrounds produce some important differences.

African Americans, who represent 11 percent of the sandwich generation, face more potentially stressful situations than do members of other groups. Nevertheless, African Americans regard the future with as much optimism as the others; they look forward to better economic times.

The typical African American member of the cohort lives in a city and is more apt to obtain help from a church and from family members than are other older boomers. African Americans are particularly inclined to enlist the support of siblings.

Older African American boomers are the most likely to have lost both their parents. They are also, however, more inclined to take care of their parents or other relatives than are whites. Higher proportions of African Americans include their siblings in their definition of family. Spouses figure less often in conceptions of the family, because marriage rates among African Americans are lower. Nevertheless, African Americans are the most liable to have several children.

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 7

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