While 34% were living with their spouse, and 41% were living with family, over 20% were living alone. This compares with 17% of the overall ethnic aged and 24% of the overall Australian population living alone (Lindenmayer, 1987 p 11). A study by AIMA (1985) found that many more women than men aged 60 and over were living alone (74% of women and only 26% of men).
A small proportion of Maltese aged (3%) were living in nursing homes or special accommodation. Most of them lived in a house (82%) or in a flat or bungalow (10%), while a small minority had a room (6%). Most of them owned their house (72%), with only a minority (8%) renting their accommodation. This is not dissimilar to the Australian overall population (Lindenmayer, 1987 p 10). Like other Australian aged the Maltese prefer to remain in their own houses (preferably next door to their married sons or daughters) for as long as possible, and regard institutional care as a last resort. While this may appear ideal accommodation, it does put an enormous and increasing burden on the family members who care for them.
Source: Maurice N. Cauchi - Maltese Migrants in Australia, Malta 1990
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