Living Arrangements of Lebanese Unmarried Elderly Women

Maya I. Obeid, American University of Beirut
Marwan Khawaja, American University of Beirut

This paper examines the living arrangements of unmarried elderly women in Lebanon using logistic regression analysis. Lebanon is characterized by strong family obligations and a patriarchal family system, a low and declining fertility rate, an increased longevity of elderly, 17 years of civil war and a continuing emigration of young adults. Lebanon lacks public services, especially for those in need of care. Analysis is based on 6000 Lebanese elderly unmarried women taken from the 1996 Population and Housing Survey. Findings show that 25% of the elderly women are loners, a high proportion compared to other communities in the region. Surprisingly, the age of women does not influence their living arrangements. There are regional variations, and war events, the strong migration of adult children and the cost of living have an impact on the living arrangements of this vulnerable segment of the population. Some policy implications for the findings are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Aging