Eldercare and the changing family in Puerto Rico

Barbara A. Zsembik, Zobeida Bonilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research is to reveal the range and depth of older island-dwelling Puerto Ricans' perceptions of viable long-term care alternatives and to evaluate the demographic and cultural underpinnings of their attitudes, preferences, and expectations for particular care options. Data from the census and sample surveys show demographic changes that simultaneously expand the numbers of older adults and reduce the numbers of potential family caregivers. Focus group data reveal cultural changes concurrent with demographic shift. Older Puerto Ricans see that the traditional intergenerational contract that promotes family care to older adults is being rewritten to accommodate the demographic changes of the late 20th century and cultural changes observed in the younger generations. They strive to retain some measure of self-management and to more flexibly integrate informal and formal services, creating a dynamic and individualized plan of care for themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-674
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


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