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"Differing Prospects For Women and Men: Young Old-Age, Old Old-Age, and Elder Care"

By Lois B. Shaw

Abstract

Although elderly men and women share many of the same problems as they age, their lives are likely to follow different courses. Women are more likely than men to live into old old-age and are more likely to spend part of their young old-age caring for husbands or parents. By providing this unpaid care women might enter retirement earlier, rather than prolonging their working lives. Because they live longer, but are less likely than men to live with someone who will care for them, women are also more likely than men to require paid care either at home or in a nursing home. Proposals to reduce government spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will thus have different implications for women and men. This paper evaluates changes in these programs, and describes alternative and innovative ways of providing and paying for eldercare in other countries as well as in the United States.

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