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《TAIPEI TIMES》More than 23% of elderly live alone, ministry says

A person accompanies an older person during a walk in Taipei in an undated photograph.
Photo: Taipei Times file

A person accompanies an older person during a walk in Taipei in an undated photograph. Photo: Taipei Times file

2024/06/17 03:00

By Lee Wen-hsin and Esme Yeh / Staff reporter, with staff writer

More than 23 percent of people aged 65 or older live alone, while about 12 percent care for an elderly family member, the Ministry of the Interior said, as it forecast Taiwan to become a “super-aged society” by next year.

As of the end of last year, 4.3 million people in Taiwan were older than 65, or 18.35 percent of the population, ministry data showed.

A society is considered super-aged when more than 20 percent of the population is aged 65 or older. Taiwan became an “aged society” at the end of March 2018.

The ministry data showed that of those 65 or older, 54.8 percent were women and 45.2 percent were men, while of those 75 or older, 57.8 percent were women and 42.2 percent were men.

As of June last year, nearly 4.19 million people were considered elderly, of which 976,925 lived alone (23.3 percent) and 517,770 cared for an elderly family member (12.36 percent).

Elderly women and those caring for elderly family members outnumbered the male group, while more elderly men lived further from medical services, bus stops and convenience stores.

The ministry data showed that as of June last year 22.76 percent of women aged 65 to 74 and 26.12 percent of women aged 75 or older lived alone, compared with 22.71 percent and 21.98 percent of the male groups respectively.

Within the 65-to-74 age group, more women (12.43 percent) than men (11.30 percent) were caring for an elderly family member, known as “double aging care,” while men (17.77 percent) outnumbered women (9.83 percent) within the 75-or-older age group.

The data showed that 13.17 percent of elderly people lived in walk-up apartments, of which 13.6 percent were women and 12.66 percent men.

Of people aged 65 or older living in walk-up apartments, 14.82 percent were women living alone and 12.49 percent were women who were caring for an elderly family member, compared with 12.09 percent and 12.1 percent for the respective male groups, despite a higher percentage of men (11.22 percent) than women (10.51 percent) caring for an elderly family member within the 75-or-older age group.

As of June last year, 54.05 percent of elderly people lived within 200m of medical facilities, while 36.78 percent lived within 100m of a bus stop and 33.64 percent lived within 100m of a convenience store, up from 53.32 percent, 36.76 percent and 31.69 percent respectively in 2019.

Among elderly women who lived alone, 59.84 percent resided within 200m of medical facilities, 40.21 percent within 100m of a bus stop and 38.3 percent were within 100m of a convenience store, all higher than their male counterparts who lived alone at 53.52 percent, 38.33 percent and 33.75 respectively.

The data showed that 81.6 percent of elderly people lived within 1km of medical facilities, 91.9 percent within 500m of a bus stop and 81.33 percent within 500m of a convenience store, up from 2019’s 80.41 percent, 90.61 percent and 79.03 percent respectively.

Of those without access to medical facilities within 1km, or bus stops or convenience stores within 500m, 20.66, 8.5 and 21.11 percent were men respectively, all higher than their female counterparts’ 14.26, 5.64 and 14.34 percent respectively, the data showed.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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