Living arrangements, health and wellbeing amongst older People: a European perspective

Harriet Young, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Emily Grundy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Demographic changes over the last century have led to older age structures throughout Europe, accompanied by major social, economic and family-related changes. There have been declines in the proportions of older people living with children and increases in proportions living alone. However, substantial differences between countries remain. Research to date indicates that the consequences of different living arrangements for the health and well-being of older people are not clear-cut, and may be influenced by factors including social ties outside the household, socio-economic factors and cultural norms. We use data from the European Social Survey to analyse associations between living arrangements and health and well-being, amongst older people across Europe. We analyse the differing influences of extra-household support, socio-economic status and cultural norms on the association between health and living arrangements. Variations between groups of countries will shed light on the strengths of hypothesised cultural influences on living arrangements.

Presented in Session 69: Social ties, living arrangements, care and well-being in later life