ERIC Number: ED313616
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Family Care of the Aged in the United States: Policy Issues from an International Perspective.
Kosberg, Jordan I.
This paper addresses issues related to the care of the aged by informal caregivers, government support of such care, and policy changes that might result in improved care of the elderly population. In its treatment of family responsibility for the elderly, it calls attention to several trends: (1) family members will be increasingly unavailable to provide care for their elderly relatives; (2) the elderly do not want to be too dependent upon family members; (3) the care of the elderly can result in serious economic, social, physical, and psychological costs to families; (4) these costs can result in abuse and mistreatment of the elderly; and (5) research findings do not support the assumed cost-savings from family care. It is questioned whether the United States and similar urban-industrialized societies can effectively adopt the practices of other types of societies in which the elderly are satisfactorily sustained by relatives. Examples are cited of Japan and Sweden where government provides financial incentives to families who provide for older relatives to live with them. A 1981 survey is referred to which found that more responsibility by government, as compared to more by the children of the elderly, or by the elderly themselves, was favored to a greater extent by the American public. Findings on international policies supporting family care of the elderly and its consequences are reviewed and the areas of assistance to families, mandating family support, and social changes affecting informal supports are addressed. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Exchange Center on Gerontology, Tampa, FL.