Living Arrangements and Dementia among the Oldest Old: A Comparison of Mexicans and Mexican Americans

Phillip A. Cantu, Jiwon Kim, Mariana López-Ortega, Sunshine Rote, Silvia Mejia-Arango, Jacqueline L. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: The growing population of adults surviving past age 85 in the United States and Mexico raises questions about the living arrangements of the oldest old and those living with dementia. This study compares Mexican and Mexican American individuals aged 85 and older to identify associations with cognitive status and living arrangements in Mexico and the United States. Research Design and Methods: This study includes 419 Mexican Americans in 5 southwestern states (Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly) and 687 Mexicans from a nationally representative sample (Mexican Health and Aging Study). It examines characteristics associated with living alone using logistic regression and describes the living arrangements of older adults with probable dementia in each country. Results: Older adults with dementia were significantly less likely to live alone than with others in the United States while there were no relationships between dementia and living arrangements in Mexico. However, a substantial proportion of older adults with dementia lived alone in both nations: 22% in the United States and 21% in Mexico. Among Mexican Americans with dementia, those living alone were more likely to be women, childless, reside in assisted living facilities, and less likely to own their homes. Similarly, Mexican individuals with dementia who lived alone were also less likely to be homeowners than those living with others. Discussion and Implications: Contextual differences in living arrangements and housing between the United States and Mexico pose different challenges for aging populations with a high prevalence of dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberigac014
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Caregiving
  • International
  • Latino/a (Mexican American)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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