Title

Transitions in Living Arrangements of Canadian Seniors: Findings from the NPHS Longitudinal Data

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2009

Journal

Social Science & Medicine

Volume

68

Issue

6

First Page

1106

Last Page

1113

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.12.046

Abstract

This paper examines transitions in living arrangement decisions of the seniors using the first six cycles of the Canadian longitudinal National Population Health Survey microdata. Transitions from independent to intergenerational and institutional living arrangements are uniquely analyzed using a discrete-time hazard rate multinomial logit modelling framework and accounted for unobserved individual heterogeneity in the data. Our results show: a) provision of publicly-provided homecare reduces the likelihood of institutionalization, but it has no effect on intergenerational living arrangements; b) access to social support services reduces the probability of both institutional and intergenerational living arrangements; c) higher levels of functional health status, measured by Health Utility Index, reduce the probability of transitions from independent to intergenerational and institutional living arrangements; d) a decline in self-reported health status increases the probability of institutionalization, but its effect on intergenerational living arrangements is statistically insignificant; e) higher levels of household income tend to decrease the probability of institutionalization; and f) the likelihood of transitioning to both intergenerational and institutional living arrangements increases with the duration of survival. Our findings suggest that access to and availability of publicly-provided homecare, social support services and other programs designed to foster better functional health status would contribute positively towards independent or intergenerational living arrangements and reduce the probability of institutionalization.