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AARP Multicultural Survey July 2001

  • Thirty-four percent of Hispanics take care of elders, a proportion that exceeds that among non-Hispanic whites (19%) and African Americans (28%). Only Asian Americans (42%) are more likely to do so.

  • Like other older boomers, Hispanics phone (84%) and visit (81%) their older relatives at least sometimes. Hispanics are also more likely than average to take their elders shopping or to do errands (51%, as opposed to 44%), to drive them places (54%, compared with 46%), and to talk with doctors or health providers (48%, compared with 36% of the total cohort).

  • Like Asian Americans, Hispanics are more likely than others to have roles as heavy caregivers. Forty-eight percent of Hispanics talk to medical personnel on behalf of their parents, probably reflecting the need to translate for them; this figure is 36 percent for all older boomers. Twenty-one percent of Hispanics help their elders with such highly personal care such as bathing, dressing and eating, whereas only 12 percent of the entire cohort does so.

  • Forty percent support their elders financially, a proportion that greatly exceeds the 27% of all Americans between the ages of 45 and 55.

  • When asked about a variety of ways to help care for older family members, Hispanic women are, in almost all cases, more likely to provide frequent help than are men. The rates range from 12 percent to 67 percent among women, compared with 8 percent to 53 percent among men.

Feelings about their roles: The larger burden carried by Hispanics is also reflected in their feelings of stress and a need to do more.

  • Thirty-one percent of Hispanics, compared with just 18 percent of the general population, say they feel stressed because they are sandwiched between two generations. Women (35%) are slightly more likely to feel this stress than are men (28%).

  • After Asian Americans, Hispanics are the second-most likely group to feel guilty; 65 percent say they should do more for their parents, compared with 48 percent of other older boomers.

  • Hispanic women (82%) are more likely than Hispanic men (70%) to say that caring for older relatives has brought them closer to those other family members. There is a similar gender gap among Hispanics who indicate that such efforts have made them more optimistic about their own old age (66% women and 49% men).

Prepared for AARP by Belden Russonello & Stewart and Research/Strategy/Management Page 90

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