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Seminars & Symposia

Family Care for an Aging Population

WEBCAST: View webcast of symposium (Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes)

Today, Americans are more likely to marry and to divorce than in almost any other Western nation. Serial marriages, rising levels of cohabitation, delayed childbearing, and nonmarital parenthood have added complexity to American families. At the same time, increases in women's attachment to the labor force have altered the allocation of time to work and caregiving for older and younger generations. Demographically, the coming generation of elderly Americans—the baby boomers—were themselves the pioneers in the great changes that have transformed family life over the past several decades, and their aging is one of the most anticipated demographic events of this century. While the number of Americans without medical insurance is high, the number without any insurance against the costs of long-term care is far greater. The burden of day-to-day care falls most often to family members and friends who provide unpaid assistance. Declines in fertility and increasingly diffuse and complex kin ties thus have substantial consequences for long-term care in the United States: There may be an increase in the demand for formally provided services and reductions in the availability of family support.

On June 23, 2010, the Population Reference Bureau and the Hopkins Population Center sponsored its 4th Annual Symposium on Policy and Health: "Family Care for an Aging Population: Demographic Contexts and Policy Challenges."This year's presenters were:

  • Andrew Cherlin, Benjamin H. Griswold III, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Dept. of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University (PDF: 416KB)
  • Nancy Folbre, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts (PDF: 1.28MB)
  • Madonna Harrington Meyer, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence, Professor of Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • John Haaga, Deputy Director, Division of Behavioral and Social Research, National Institute on Aging (PDF: 852KB)