VIDEO: Who takes care of the elderly in Chile?

Ilistración que muestra un mapa de Chile, una casa y tres personas distintas que representan a cuidadores.

Carers in Chile are mostly women, daughters or partners of the person being cared for, and with no higher education. For more information, read this article and watch this video.

By Natalia Correa

Video about the research that investigates caregivers of dependent elderly people in Chile. Realization: Bonsai Films.

According to data from the 2015 Casen Survey, 17.5% of people in Chile are 60 years old and over. Of this elderly population, 14.4% are dependent, that is, they need help to carry out activities of daily life.

In people that are 80 years old, dependency increases to almost 40%.

Most of the care is provided by family members, friends or partners. The task of taking care of people is usually informal, without remuneration or specialized training. For this reason, at MICARE we wanted to learn more about the people who care for the elderly population in Chile. Our researchers María Beatriz Fernández and Soledad Herrera did a study about this, published in 2020.

In Chile, there are 4,313 informal carers of older people. Of this number, 66.8% are women aged 56 on average, indicating that it is becoming more and more likely that older women end up caring for other older people. In addition, 44.5% are daughters or sons caring for their parents, and 33.6% are the partners.

Regarding their education, 43.4% of carers have primary education or less, and only 15.4% have higher education.

In terms of employment, of 10 informal carers, 6 are outside the market and 3 have a job in addition to their care work.

Finally, the study carried out by Fernández and Herrera confirms that caring for a dependent elderly person has a negative effect on the health of informal carers.

It is important and necessary to know the reality of those who take care of others in Chile, in order to develop public policies focused on redistribution, remuneration and recognition of this work.