Race/Ethnicity, Nativity, and Gender Disparities in Unmet Care Needs Among Older Adults in the United States. By: Lin, Zhiyong and Liu, Hui. 2024. Gerontologist. Vol. 64 Issue 4, p1-11.

Background and Objectives Although disparities in disability and the unequal distribution of care resources are widely discussed in the literature, there has been less research on disparities in experiencing unmet care needs among older adults. This study aims to investigate how unmet care needs are unevenly distributed across social groups with various intersecting identities, such as race/ethnicity, nativity, and gender, although considering their care needs and care networks, drawing on the conceptual framework of the pathway to unmet needs. Research Design and Methods The data for this study came from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (2011–2018), and the study sample consisted of 7,061 Medicare beneficiaries who needed assistance with daily activities. Questions about unmet care needs were in the form of consequences related to difficulty or lack of help with daily activities. Mixed-effects negative binomial regression models were used to predict rates of unmet needs. Results Older adults of color, especially
women, experienced higher rates of unmet care needs compared with their White and male counterparts. Although Black–White and gender differences in unmet needs were mostly explained by unequal exposures to care needs and differential care networks, Hispanic women and foreign-born Hispanic men were still at a disadvantage even after adjusting for these covariates. Discussion
and Implications These results emphasize the importance of adopting an intersectional approach to enhance the quality of long-term services and support for older adults facing social disadvantages.