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Living arrangements of community-dwelling older Singaporeans: predictors and consequences

  • BINA GUBHAJU (a1) (a2), TRULS ØSTBYE (a1) (a3) (a4) and ANGELIQUE CHAN (a1) (a3) (a5)

In this paper, we examine predictors and consequences of living arrangements among community-dwelling older Singaporeans. We take a holistic approach and consider a range of social and economic as well as emotional and physical wellbeing indicators. Two waves (2009, 2011) of the Panel on Health and Ageing of Singaporean Elderly (PHASE) are analysed to (a) provide an overview of living arrangements in 2009 and assess the extent to which living arrangements change by 2011; (b) examine the predictors of living arrangements in 2009; and (c) examine the consequences of living arrangements over a two-year period. The majority (88%) of older Singaporeans co-reside with either their spouse and/or children. A small yet growing proportion live with others (5%) or live alone (6%). Very little change in living arrangements is observed over the two years. Our results show that women, the oldest-old and older adults with fewer children are more likely to live alone. Older adults who live alone are not particularly disadvantaged compared to those who live with their spouse and children or spouse only in their social and economic wellbeing. It is, in fact, older adults who live with their children that are disadvantaged in many aspects of social, economic and mental wellbeing. Measures to engage older adults living with their families (along with those living alone and with others) in broader social activities are imperative.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Bina Gubhaju, Centre for Ageing Research and Education (CARE), Duke-NUS Medical School, 8 College Road, Singapore 169857 E-mail:
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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
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