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The health of India’s older population: do living arrangements matter?

Sandhya R. Mahapatro (A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, India)
Arabinda Acharya (UNFPA, New Delhi, India)
Pushpendra Singh (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




Changing demographic trends in India have resulted in a growing ageing population, and this poses many health challenges for older people. Lack of formal care institutions and social security nets further aggravate the situation. Living arrangements are, thus, expected to play a significant role in determining the healthcare needs of older people. The purpose of this paper is to examine the association of living arrangements with health among older people in India.


Data for the study were drawn from the Building Knowledge Base on Population Ageing in India (2011). The health status of older people was measured by assessing chronic illness, self-rated health and limitations in activities of daily living. Logistic regression was used to examine the influence of living arrangements on health outcomes. Further, a structural equation model was employed to observe whether poor health preceded co-residence.


Older people living in co-residential arrangements report more health disadvantages and older people with poor health prefer co-residence with their offspring. Perhaps the support, care and health awareness in co-residential arrangements helps older people obtain the healthcare interventions they require for the various illnesses they have had, and enable them to improve their ongoing health status.


The present study has extended the research on the relationship between health and living arrangements, and has also addressed the case of older people with poor health who prefer to stay in co-residential arrangements which has been taken up by limited studies.



R. Mahapatro, S., Acharya, A. and Singh, P. (2017), "The health of India’s older population: do living arrangements matter?", Working with Older People, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 82-89.



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