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Eldercare In The United States: Inadequate, Inequitable, But Not A Lost Cause


  • Susan Eaton


Eldercare, like other forms of care work, is often taken for granted and undervalued. The burdens as well as the failures of providing care for the elderly are often borne disproportionately by women. This paper documents inequality of access and low quality of care for the elderly in the United States. It argues that public funds used to subsidize nursing homes are poorly spent and that profit-maximizing competition in the nursing home industry adversely affects the quality of care provided. In seeking to address these problems, policy-makers can learn important lessons from several different sources. The experiences of several European countries, current regulatory efforts in the state of Massachusetts, and more decentralized volunteer efforts to promote humane visions of eldercare all offer some hope for the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Eaton, 2005. "Eldercare In The United States: Inadequate, Inequitable, But Not A Lost Cause," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 37-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:11:y:2005:i:2:p:37-51
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700500115845

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geoff Schneider & Jean Shackelford, 2001. "Economics Standards and Lists: Proposed Antidotes for Feminist Economists," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 77-89.
    2. Wilson, Randall & Eaton, Susan C. & Kamanu, Amara, 2003. "Extended Care Career Ladder Initiative (ECCLI) Round 2: Evaluation Report," Working Paper Series rwp03-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lois B. Shaw, 2006. "Differing Prospects For Women and Men: Young Old-Age, Old Old-Age, and Elder Care," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_464, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Zeytinoglu, Isik U. & Denton, Margaret & Davies, Sharon & Plenderleith, Jennifer Millen, 2009. "Casualized employment and turnover intention: Home care workers in Ontario, Canada," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 258-268, August.
    3. Mary Eschelbach Hansen & Paul Jacobs, 2007. "Valuing Substitute Families:Financial Support for Foster and Adoptive Families," Working Papers 2007-04, American University, Department of Economics.


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