Better off alone? Living arrangements and COVID-19 among older Brazilians

Flavia Andrade, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nekehia T. Quashie, Chulalongkorn University
Luisa Schwartzman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Objective: We examined how living arrangements influenced exposure to and testing for COVID-19 among older Brazilians. Methods: Individual-level data came from the nationally representative COVID-19 module of the Brazilian National Household Sample Survey (PNAD), collected from July-November of 2020, including 63,000 respondents 60 years and older (over 295,000 person-month observations). Our dependent variables include self-reported COVID-19 symptoms, ever being tested for COVID-19, and receiving a positive test result. Results: COVID-19 reported symptoms and testing were more prevalent among older adults living alone. However, older adults in multigenerational and skipped generation households were more likely than solo-dwellers to test positive for COVID-19. Older adults with symptoms were more likely to test and to get a positive result. Interactions between symptoms and living arrangements were significant for testing. They indicate that among older adults with symptoms, those living with others increased more testing than those living alone. Discussion: Our findings suggest that coresidence with family members can be a risk factor for older adults’ health due to the higher COVID-19 positivity.

Keywords: Intergenerational relations, COVID-19, Older adults

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 200. Intergenerational Relations, Living Arrangements and COVID-19