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Living Alone: Elderly Chinese Singaporeans

Publication Abstract

Wong, Y.S., and Lois M. Verbrugge. 2009. "Living Alone: Elderly Chinese Singaporeans." Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 24(3): 209-224.

Asian societies maintain the norm that older people should live with their children. Yet some older people live alone. This is the first study to explore social isolation, strategies of coping, and preferences about living arrangements among Chinese Singaporeans aged 65+ who live alone. Data from 19 semi-structured interviews were analyzed. The elderly people who live alone either have no other alternative, or they choose it despite opportunities to live with others. Regardless of the initial reason, solo-dwellers in Singapore succeed at living alone by developing behavioral and psychological strategies that help overcome social isolation. Their main link to the "outside" world is access to medical and social services. Despite some hardships, many prefer living alone because it has become familiar and personally comfortable.

DOI:10.1007/s10823-008-9081-7 (Full Text)

Country of focus: Singapore.

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