Living Arrangements, Family Support and the Welfare of the Elderly: Findings and Implications of the 1994 Survey of Elderly in Thailand
Knodel, John E., Pattama Amornsirisomboon, and Jiraporn Khiewyoo. "Living Arrangements, Family Support and the Welfare of the Elderly: Findings and Implications of the 1994 Survey of Elderly in Thailand." Elderly in Asia Report No. 97-43. 7 1997.
The 1994 Survey of Elderly in Thailand, conducted by the National Statistical Office, provides comprehensive and up to date information on the situation of Thailand's older population. Results based on respondents who are aged 60 and above indicate a pervasive familial system of support and care of elderly parents by their children. Very few elderly live alone and those who do rarely see this as a problem. Almost three-fourths of elderly live with their children. However, regardless of whether or not elderly parents lived with children, most received at least some support and assistance from them. At the same time, over a third of Thai elderly perceive that their income is insufficient and about half report that they experienced a financial problem last year. Living arrangements, however, do not show much association with economic difficulties. Elderly who are living with their families appear to be just as much in need of assistance as those who are not. Programs aimed at improving economic welfare thus need to have a broader focus than just aiming at elderly who appear to be deserted by their family, a group that is likely to be a very tiny minority in any event. In addition, poor health and serious economic difficulties are clearly associated with each other. Thus health and economic welfare programs are likely to reinforce each other.