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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

2. Coping with Family Responsibilities

Overall, members of the sandwich generation feel good about how well they are taking care of their families. Seventy-three percent say they comfortably handle their family responsibilities—although this is, as table 35 suggests, least common among African Americans (63%). Interestingly, respondents’ assessments of their own ability to cope with family responsibilities seems unaffected by whether they are currently doing so.

parents/children

6

22

70

Care for elders

5

23

71

White

5

19

75

Black

10

24

63

Hispanic

8

19

71

Asian

8

23

67

Table 35: Ability to Handle Family Responsibilities by Demographic Characteristics

The great majority of caregivers (72%) believe that providing care to an older family member has brought them closer to that person, and nearly all reject the notion that it has pushed them apart (96%) or made them feel resentful (92%). Asian Americans, however, are considerably more likely to admit resentment (19%) and feeling more pushed apart (12%) than are others.

Q8. Which of the following statements best describes how you feel about your family responsibilities: I feel …

Caregivers of

Total

No less encouraging is the finding that most who care for elderly relatives believe the experience has been positive, though some admit to a bit of additional stress. Looking deeper, tables 36 through 40 report responses to questions asked only of those who help care for parents or other older relatives.

Family responsibilities are piling up so high that I cannot handle them all. (%)

6

71

Family

I can comfortably

responsibilities are handle all my family

23

piling up and I am

responsibilities.

(%)

(%) 20

73

Sandwiched between parents/children

5

just able to handle them all

.

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 70

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