4: Living arrangement concordance and the well-being of older persons in India

The relationship between living arrangement concordance (the correspondence between the actual and preferred living arrangement) among older people and their well-being in developing countries is relatively under-researched. This is mainly due to the assumption that the actual living arrangement is a partial consequence of preference, although there can be several constraints in achieving this perfect match. To better understand the patterns of living arrangements, living arrangement preferences and the concordance in living arrangement among older adults in India, the authors analyse data gathered from over 9,852 older people in seven states in India under the UNFPA study on Building Knowledge Base on Ageing in India. The preference data show that around one third of older Indians indicated a preference for independent living which is indicative of the likely changes in future living arrangement patterns in the country. Further, living arrangement concordance did not appear to be a significant predictor of self-rated health or better mental health status. The household’s financial condition was the most important predictor that determined health status among older persons.

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