Published Papers - Abstract 875

Byles J, Curryer C, Vo K, Forder P, Loxton D & McLaughlin D. Changes in housing among older women: Latent class analysis of housing patterns in older Australian women. Urban Studies, 2018; 55(4): 917-34

Scant research exists on the patterns of changes in older women’s housing, and whether and when women transition into residential aged care (RAC). This study aimed to identify groups of women with different housing patterns (latent classes) over time, with a secondary aim to describe socio-demographic and health characteristics of women in each class. We analysed linked data for 9575 women born 1921–1926 from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH), Australian National Death Index, and Residential Aged Care (RAC) administrative records for the years 1999 through to 2011. Seven distinct housing patterns (classes) were identified over time. Four classes showed a stable pattern: living in a house for most surveys (47.0%), living in a house but with earlier death (13.7%), living in an apartment (12.8%), living in a retirement village (5.8%). One class showed a pattern of downsizing: moving from a house to retirement village (6.6%). Two patterns showed transition: from an apartment or retirement village, to RAC and death (7.8%), and from house to RAC (6.4%). This study provides new evidence about socio-demographic and health influences on housing patterns and entry into residential care in later life. These findings can inform policy and aged care planning for women in later life, by identifying patterns of transition into residential aged care, or alternatively, remaining in the community.