This study was conducted in 2005 to assess the needs of the low-income elderly population in the municipality of Benito Juarez, Mexico. The Mexican resort of Cancun, which serves as seat of the political and administrative offices, placed this municipality on the map. Now known as part of “The Mexican Caribbean,” Benito Juarez is home to about 500,000 people who have migrated to work in the tourist industry. As typically happens when a rural area experiences a rush of economic development, with the concomitant population growth, there was insufficient social infrastructure in place to deal with the proliferation of social, economic, and political problems. This study was conducted at the request of Benito Juarez Mayor’s office and a group of advocates for the aging population in this community. This qualitative study employed both individual interviews and focus groups of low-income elderly residents, their family members, service providers and advocates. Findings and recommendations include the remediation of the plight of the older population in Benito Juarez, which will require some reforms in the enforcement of the legal rights of the elderly. It will also require some additional resources, including training for many of the human service providers. Most needed is the creation of new forms of social capital that will help to repair and compensate for the fundamental changes taking place in family patterns in this area of Mexico.
|Keywords:||Elderly, Aging Population, Family Change, Vulnerable Populations, Mexico Social Change, Needs of Elderly|
Director, Graduate Program, School of Social Work, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Director of Applied Research Center, ISCFC, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Director of the Institute for the Study of Children, ISCFC, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Director, Volunteer Services, Cancun, Mexico
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