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AARP Film Asks, Are Families Ready to Care for Their Elderly?

“How will you pay for the care? Who will be the primary caretakers?” asks AARP Social Media Fellow Gil Asakawa. “Can the family realistically manage the caretaking duties or will an outside caretaker need to be hired?"

These are some of the questions prompted by a new short documentary produced by the AARP, “Caregiving Dahil Mahal Kita (Because I Love You),” that looks at three Filipino-American families—including that of retired Major General Antonio Taguba—and the choices families make to take care of elderly loved ones. AARP is encouraging families, especially Asian-American families, to start having these conversations early, so they can plan together before circumstances are thrust upon them.

According to a 2001 AARP multicultural survey, 73 percent of Asian Americans feel that children are expected to take care of their parents in their old age, as opposed to 57 percent of Hispanic Americans, 52 percent of blacks, and 47 percent of whites.

In fact, Asian Americans are the most likely to live in multigenerational households. According to Pew Research Center, in 2009, 25.8 percent of Asian Americans lived in multi-generational households, as opposed to 23.7 percent of blacks, 23.4 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 13.1 percent of whites.

“We will always have guilt,” says Taguba in the documentary, “Thinking as a military guy, I would have at least gotten to my family and said, ‘Hey, let’s start some planning here,’ but we didn’t do that, we said ‘Holy,’ ‘Oh my gosh,’ ‘Uh, what are we going to do now?’”

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