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Social problem - elder care - Essay Example

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Social norms as well as legal requirements dictate that parents provide care for their children, and all children require such care for…
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Social problem - elder care
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Download file to see previous pages re services to their elderly parents, may hope not to find themselves facing such care needs, and may not face a legal requirement that they do so or face a requirement that is not enforced. The children may not, in fact, ever face such needs because some percentage of the elderly reaches the end of life without developing personal-care needs. The need to care for a child is in nearly all cases a temporary situation, followed by a transition a lengthy and gradual transition, to be sure - to the capacity for self-care associated with independent living as an adult. However, the transition into disability during old age may occur gradually or rapidly, and is likely to signal the onset of an irreversible state of dependency, one that will end only in death. Thus, for several reasons elder care merits, and receives, special attention.
Yet, elder care and other major types of care work, such as caring for young children, share many common elements: much of the care is provided in private households and is done so "informally" by family members; the care entails heavy use of time inputs; care is provided more often by women than by men; the care effort imposes costs in many intangible domains upon those who do it; and, the caring produces benefits for society at large. Both the costs and the benefits are hard to quantify, in principle and in practice. (Arno, P., Levine, C., and Memmnott, M, 1999)
Although different countries exhibit considerable variation in the types and generosity of publicly funded programs with which to meet the care needs of older people, the family remains "everywhere the most important provider” of such care. There is a voluminous research literature concerned with the nature, extent, components, and consequences of informal care provided to disabled elders. Much of that work is based on small, local-area samples, but in recent years a number of national-level data sources have become available with which to study elder care.
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