Who takes care of the elderly in Latin America?

There are no official platforms or programs for the elderly in Latin America. The privileges and benefits which seniors enjoy in developed countries are missing here.

The retirement age, which is a term used to define the group of the population that is no longer actively working, has no clear meaning in this part of the world. The living arrangement for older adults is not as bright or privileged as their compatriots in developed countries.

 Older people here live in totally different home settings and conditions. These settings include nuclear household and family settings with unmarried children. But over time, this changes as the sons who are eligible and responsible for taking care of the parents also get married.

 Another setting for the seniors is to live alone in their own or rented homes. Some older adults live with their kin.

Let’s get into detail how older people live in Latin America as we also find out who takes care of them.

Co-residence:

In this home setting, the elderly live with their extended family.- kin and relatives. The extended family takes care of all the members living in the same home.

 In recent years, more than 53 % of aged people over sixty live in Mexico’s co-residence. These type of co-residence comes with a lot of benefits to each family member.  There is a strict rule where everybody has to help. For the older people who are not earning, they help by doing household chores.

 The arrangement is untold and unwritten. When an older person comes to live with extended kin, all they need is a room for bed and food to survive. In return, these elders do not have to pay money or work hard. The real work that these seniors have to is to help the members of the family.

Elders also assist members in child care and some routine chores. In this way, both parties get to benefit.

Nuclear family:

The other living arrangement is the nuclear family. Instead of going to the extended family, the elderly move in with their children who are mostly unmarried.

 These unmarried children keep their parents with them in their  house, and most of the time, other married children and  families live just within. This setting makes the elder center of this small universe.

 In Chile, the statistics reveal that more than 24 percent of seniors live with their children. Another setting of the same category of nuclear home is when seniors live with their widowed child. There could be grandchildren in that setting. And with those widowed children and grandchildren, the older adults again become the center of this small world.

Live alone:

The most painful and challenging setting for the elders in Latin America is the live alone setting. In this part of the world, there are no old-age benefits and retirement benefits for the elderly people.

When they have to live in their own life becomes very harsh and challenging for them. When they don’t get any aid from the government, they have to keep working to pay for their daily food and shelter. When they become unwell, there is no one to take care of them at that house. This situation is harrowing. Older adults have to do very meager jobs to make both ends meet.

According to the country, let’s know more about who takes care of the elderly in Latin America.

ECLAC collected the data on the retirement system in Latin America. And the statistics are somewhat disturbing .  The data shows that everyone 5 out of 20 households have given a place to a senior.

 This means the elderly have to become a burden to their families or their relatives to stay alive. This by itself is very humiliating to the elderly, and makes them feel as though they have lost their self-respect and dignity. Sadly, they have to bear with all these things to stay alive and eat.

Here are some examples of the conditions  seniors have to endure in Latin America:

Chile:

The seniors are 34 % part of the total population in this country. And 85% of the whole seniors live with their children in their homes. Chile has more seniors in the homes of their children than any other Latin American country. The added benefits that municipal corporation provides to the seniors is that they can earn for them. A free of cost program is run by the municipalities in which the adults do the work, and they get the chance to make money. 

Argentina:

38 % of the total adult population has 7% of seniors. These seniors have to earn their living most of the time. The real challenge they face is affording medicine and paying for the health facilities. The condition of seniors is neither better, even in comparison with other Latin American countries. 

Colombia:

There are no legal reforms and health protection for the seniors in this country. The state doesn’t take any care and responsibility for these older people. The seniors have to live in poverty and abandonment. The retired older adults also have to face social exclusion in their society.

 Conclusion

In Latin America, to be 60 years means that you are no more eligible for regular jobs. You are secluded from society. Only a few countries give the elderly a chance to live the life of a normal human being with the food and a place to live. But in most of the countries conditions are adverse for the seniors to live a healthy life.

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