Childless elders in assisted living: Findings from the Maryland assisted living study

Kate de Medeiros, Robert L. Rubinstein, Chiadi U. Onyike, Deirdre M. Johnston, Alva Baker, Matthew Mcnabney, Constantine G. Lyketsos, Adam Rosenblatt, Quincy M. Samus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We compared data drawn from a random sample of 399 current assisted living residents and a subsample of 222 newly admitted residents for two groups: childless residents and residents with children. The percentage of childless residents (26%) in our study was slightly higher than U.S. population estimates of childless individuals aged 65 years and older (20%). In the overall sample, the two groups differed significantly by age, race, and women's years of education. The childless group was slightly younger, had a higher percentage of African American residents, and had more years of education than the group with children. In the subsample, we looked at demographic, functional, financial, and social characteristics and found that childless residents reported fewer diagnoses of dementia and fewer visits from a relative but more reported paying less money per month for assisted living and having private insurance than residents with children. As childlessness among older adults continues to increase, it will become increasingly important to understand how child status affects the need for and experience of long-term care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-220
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Housing for the Elderly
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Assisted living
  • Childless
  • Elderly
  • Long-term care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Public Administration
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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