(NewsNation Now) — New research shows that seniors who need help with daily care and activities are more than twice as likely to get that help from their own biological children as opposed to their stepchildren.
The University of Michigan study used data from a 2015 National Health and Aging Trends Study. It investigated whether older parents with care needs received different levels of care from biological offspring compared to stepfamilies.
The study found that older parents “in need of care were more than twice as likely to receive care from their adult children if they had biological instead of stepfamilies.”
“Unmet” needs in elderly parents were not affected by family structure.
Sarah Patterson, a University of Michigan researcher who spearheaded the study, said she was surprised by the results of the study.
“We know that older adults today are much more likely to be in stepfamilies than they were in previous generations,” she said. “And so our question really was, because there’s more of the stepfamilies, are older adults in those stepfamilies receiving care from their children? Whether they be biological or step, and then do they have unmet care needs that might result as because they’re not getting care from those children?”
She also said the study also showed that the level of unmet needs of elderly people in America were high.
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“The unmet care needs weren’t very different between the two groups, which we take to mean that unmet needs are really high among American older adults and that there are more services and adaptations that are needed for them.”