|The Residential Environment of Elderly Single Households in Urban and Rural Areas
| The Elderly; Elderly Single Household; Residential Environment; Community Environment
|This study aims to identify the residential environment of elderly single households in urban and rural areas. For this purpose, the Activities
of Daily Living (ADL), living environment, and community environment of the elderly were analyzed. Data from the survey of the Korea
Institute for Heath and Social Affairs conducted in 2020 was used for the analysis. The subjects of the study included 7,871 single or
elderly couples who were aged 65 and older in Korea. The result of analysis indicated the general characteristics of elderly single households
where the rural elderly were older than the urban elderly, the level of education was lower and the health status was poorer. In terms of
housing type, the rural elderly mainly lived in houses while the urban elderly mainly lived in apartments. The rate of self-ownership was
higher for the rural elderly than the urban elderly. It is interpreted that the individual situation of the elderly in rural elderly single
households were generally worse than urban elderly single households, but housing stability was higher. There was no difference in the ADL
of elderly single households between urban and rural areas. In the living environment of elderly single households, it was found that rural
areas were worse than urban areas in terms of the housing environment, leisure and cultural activities. In the community environment, rural
areas were analyzed to be more inconvenient than urban areas in terms of facilities, public transport, security and traffic safety, and the
distance from the residence of children or relatives. Looking at the factors affecting overall life satisfaction, it was analyzed that the network
of relationships with friends and local communities had a greater effect on life satisfaction than the networks with spouses or children for
elderly single households. It is necessary for the elderly to increase their accessibility with friends and neighbors who can live independently.
In addition, it was found that rural areas were more uncomfortable than urban areas in the living environment and community environment.
Therefore, improvement is needed in poor housing and facilities such as hospitals in rural areas.