65% of Project Guardianship clients are women and caretakers are often women
Socioeconomic factors have increased the number of elderly poor, especially women, and due to the nature of other gender disparities including health, mortality, and caretaking roles, it is not surprising that 65% of Project Guardianship clients are women.
Statistics show that more women than men are widowed during their lifetimes. And changing patterns of family and relative mobility, and of internal family dynamics, leave many older women facing their senior years alone and in need of care that is no longer readily available from “traditional” familial supports.
Women also endure financial strain or hardship either because of years spent in child-rearing or because of breaks in employment. It is also a well-known fact that although the gender wage gap will vary over time, and from state to state, on average a woman will make about 20% less than a man, or 79 cents on the dollar. Women therefore find themselves at a financial disadvantage and with fewer resources than men in their senior years.
The role of caretaker for others also affects women more often than men. Many middle-aged women will find themselves in a caretaking role well beyond their child-bearing years, when they may be called upon to care for their aging parents, grandparents, or extended family members.