ERIC Number: EJ697006
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Elder Disability as an Explanation for Racial Differences in Informal Home Care
Li, Lydia W.; Fries, Brant E.
Gerontologist, v45 n2 p206 Apr 2005
Purpose: Adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and disability levels, this study examines whether differences exist in the structure and function of community-dwelling Black and White frail elders' informal care networks. Design and Methods: Data from in-person assessments of Michigan's Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waiver applicants were analyzed by using logistic and ordinary least squares regression. The sample consisted of 936 Black and 3,182 White frail elderly persons. Results: When sociodemographic characteristics were controlled for, racial differences were found in all informal care components except out-of-home chores. Differences in functional components (amount of care, scope of assistance, and personal care) were largely accounted for by disability, whereas racial differences in the structural components (source of care, living arrangement, and sole caregiver) and in-borne chores were not. Implications: Findings suggest that Blacks are not better off than Whites in the receipt of informal care. Although Black elders receive more informal help, this difference is primarily because Blacks are more disabled. This study calls for heightened awareness of disability among low-income Blacks and the potential burden experienced by their caregivers.
Descriptors: Older Adults, Racial Differences, Caregivers, Disabilities, Least Squares Statistics, Whites, African Americans, Low Income Groups, Comparative Analysis
Gerontological Society of America, 1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20005-1503. Web site: http://www.gerontologyjournals.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan