Sun, Jan 11, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Independent streak spotted in elderly women: survey

Staff Writer, with CNA

Most Taiwanese over the age of 64 prefer to live with their children, and just a small percentage of women in that age group want to live with their husbands, a recent government survey found.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare survey showed that there were 2.64 million people aged 65 years and older in Taiwan as of June last year, accounting for 11.3 percent of the total population.

The poll found that 65.7 percent of the demographic prefer to live with their children, 16 percent with their spouses and 9 percent want to live alone.

Among senior women, just 10.7 percent want to spend the rest of their lives with their husbands, the survey showed.

However, 21.9 percent of men in the age group preferred to spend their sunset years with their wives, the poll found.

There was also a greater preference among senior women to live alone, with 10.4 percent indicating that as their choice, compared with 7.8 percent of senior men.

The poll suggests that elderly women in Taiwan are more independent, sociologist and former Taipei City Government Department of Culture commissioner Liu Wei-kung (劉維公) said.

As a result, more women are opting for personal space and the lifestyle they had dreamed of, Liu added.

The percentage of elderly men and women who prefer to live alone is linked to medical expenses for men over 60 being higher on average than for women of the same age, a local Chinese-language newspaper report said, citing the ministry’s statistics.

The report cited a senior woman surnamed Huang (黃), whose husband has dementia.

Huang has decided to live alone in Miaoli County, while her husband — in his 70s — lives with their children in Taipei and has a foreign caregiver.

The ministry’s survey is conducted every five years to examine the lifestyles, health and opinions of Taiwanese over the age of 55.

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