Social and Economic Context, Gender, and Care for the Elderly in Nepal

Jennifer Eckerman, University of Michigan
Sarah R. Brauner-Otto, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Scholars and policy makers have expressed concern that social and economic changes occurring throughout Asia are threatening the well-being of the elderly, particularly women, by undercutting their systems of social support. Using a sample of 2,109 elderly men and women from the Chitwan Valley Family Study, we evaluated the relationship between proximity to markets and health services and the likelihood of receiving physical assistance in Nepal. Overall, we found that living near markets and health services increased the odds of receiving care and that this relationship varied by gender. When we analyzed only elderly women, those living near a market had nearly double the odds of receiving care compared to those living farther way. In contrast, among elderly men, living near a market more than doubled the odds of receiving care and living near a health service nearly quadrupled the odds of receiving care.

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Presented in Session 145: The Elderly and their Kin: The Family, the Market and the State