The dynamics of living arrangements in later life: preliminary findings

Evandrou, Maria, Falkingham, Jane, Rake, Katherine and Scott, Anne (2001) The dynamics of living arrangements in later life: preliminary findings , London, UK London School of Economics 15pp. (ESRC SAGE Research Group Discussion Papers, 4).


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Living arrangements are a key dimension of quality of life and well being in old age. Availability of family care, as well as social and economic support, are in part a function of whom you live with. In order to be able to forecast future changes in household composition, particularly in relation to planning and targeting particular community care services, information is needed on the probability of a person experiencing a change in their living arrangements, and the life course events that may act as triggers.
Using data from the British Household Panel Survey (1991-99), it appears that amongst people aged 60 and over the majority of changes in living arrangements are due to either bereavement or a move into an institution. Although this is consistent with 'accepted wisdom' about the living arrangements of this age group, it is perhaps not so obvious that the majority of other changes should be related to the migration of younger generations. ‘Boomerang children’ appear to be major drivers of household change in later life, with the children moving in with their elderly parents rather than the older people themselves moving in with children, as one might expect. Changes involving younger generations are most common amongst people in their 60s, indicating that provision of a home for one’s children can extend well beyond middle age.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
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ePrint ID: 34642
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Date Deposited: 19 May 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:12
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