Eldercare in Mexico and the United States
(Sustainable Social Services Across the Life Course)
Thursday, July 19, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM
Building 5, Sala Maestros Lower (ITAM)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Chair: Jacqueline L. Angel, University of Texas, Austin
The United States and Mexico differ greatly in the organization and financing of their old-age welfare states. They also differ politically and organizationally in the responsiveness of governments at all levels to the needs of low-income and frail citizens. While both countries are aging rapidly, Mexico faces more serious challenges in old-age support that arise from a less developed old-age welfare state and a less developed economy. For Mexico, although financial support for older low-income citizens and medical care are universal rights, limited fiscal resources and the needs of a large low-income population create inevitable competition for limited resources among the old and the young. Although the United States has a more developed economy and well-developed Social Security and health care financing systems for the elderly, older Mexican-origin individuals in the U.S. do not necessarily benefit fully from these programs. The institutional and financial problems are compounded in both countries by longer life spans, smaller families, as well as changing gender roles and cultural norms. In this interdisciplinary panel, the authors of four papers deal with the following topics: (1) an overview of Mexico’s eldercare system, including its organization and financing at the national, state, and municipal level; (2) the increasingly central role of civil society organizations in advocacy for and support of low-income elderly in Mexico and the U.S., (3) state policy in determining Medicaid use among aging Mexican Americans in California and Texas; and (4) the continuing importance of informal care among frail elderly individuals in Mexico City.