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Book Reviews and Other Media
January 2003

Invisible Caregivers: Older Adults Raising Children in the Wake of HIV/AIDS

Author Affiliations


Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(1):105. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.1.105

Invisible Caregivers is about older adults engaged in "skip generation" parenting as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As of the year 2000, it was estimated that 40 000 older adults were caring for the more than 150 000 children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-aunts are the caregivers for most of these children. According to Joslin, the fact that most caregivers are older than 50 years means "parental surrogacy is thrust upon the elder population when age-related chronic health problems surface and financial, emotional, and physical resources must be stretched to meet their new family responsibility." Furthermore, Joslin contends that the needs and vulnerability of these older adults have not been addressed, primarily because they have remained in the background.

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