The researchers have identified a potentially vulnerable group of older people who lack the important support of partners and children. In a three-year research project funded by Forte, they will study the consequences of spending the last days of one’s life without close relatives.
Every fifth person over 60 is divorced
In Sweden, more than one in three people aged 60 or over live alone, and the women who live alone are almost twice as many as the men.
Those living alone are more likely to be childless than those who do not live alone. Almost 20% of women living alone and almost 35% of men living alone are childless.
“There are 225 000 people over the age of 60 who live alone and who have no children,” Peter Öberg says.
“Grey divorce” doubled in 20 years
Divorce among the over-60s is becoming more common; such divorces have doubled since the turn of the century. Every tenth divorce is now “a grey divorce”. Among the over-65s, Sweden is currently the only country with more divorcees than widows/widowers.