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Most over-64 Taiwanese prefer to live with children: poll

Most over-64 Taiwanese prefer to live with children: poll

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) Most elderly people in Taiwan over the age of 64 prefer to live with their children, and only a small percentage of women in that age group want to live with their husbands, according to a government survey. The survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) showed that the number people 65 years and older had reached 2.64 million in Taiwan as of June 2014, accounting for 11.3 percent of the total population. According to the poll, 65.7 percent of the over-64 people in Taiwan prefer to live with their children, and 16 percent with their spouses, while 9 percent want to live alone. Among the elderly females, only 10.7 percent want to spend the rest of their lives with their husbands, the survey showed. However, 21.9 percent of the men in the over-64 age group prefer to spend their sunset years with their wives, the poll found. There was also a greater preference among elderly women to live alone, with 10.4 percent indicating that as their choice, compared with 7.8 percent elderly men. The poll suggests that in these modern days, there is a greater consciousness of independence among women in Taiwan, said Liu Wei-kung, a sociologist and former Taipei culture affairs director, in a United Daily News report Sunday. As a result, more and more women are opting for personal space and the lifestyle they had dreamed of, Lu said. Regarding the percentage of elderly men and women to prefer to live alone, it is linked to the fact that medical expenses for men over 60 on average are higher than for women of the same age, the newspaper report said, citing MOHW statistics. The report cited the example of a senior citizen surnamed Huang, whose husband suffers from dementia. Huang has decided to stay alone at her home in Miaoli County, while her ailing husband, in his 70s, lives with their children in Taipei and has a foreign caregiver. The MOHW survey, released in November, is conducted every five years, looking at residency, employment, economic conditions and the self-care ability of Taiwanese citizens over 55. The information is used by the government as reference in its elderly welfare policies. (By Lung Pei-ning and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-07-30 10:24 GMT+08:00