in other developing countries in the region, support for the elderly has primarily come from networks of families or relatives, with remittances from children living elsewhere and shared residence being the two most important mechanisms.
In addition to demographic pressure, there have also been concerns that pressure from “modernization” would weaken traditional family structures. Moreover, as the population ages, Indonesia is experiencing nutrition and health transitions with the population moving out of undernutrition and communicable diseases and the elderly population increasingly exposed to higher risk factors correlated with chronic health problems (Witoelar, Strauss, and Sikoki, 2009). In Indonesia, early concerns about the implications of population aging, rapid economic changes, and changing health challenges on traditional familial support systems and family structures have been brought up by Hugo (1992) and by Wirakartakusumah et al. (1997). Despite these concerns, a number of empirical studies on aging and living arrangements in Southeast Asia done in the late 1990s suggest that shared living remains common and the decline in co-residency was modest, as was reviewed by Frankenberg, Chan, and Ofstedal (2002) and by Beard and Kunharibowo (2001). One of the aims of this chapter is to revisit the question and see how much the pattern of living arrangements among the elderly has changed.
Data from the National Socioeconomic Survey (the Susenas), the nationally representative survey of households conducted annually in Indonesia, indeed show that the living arrangements among the elderly had not changed considerably between 1993 and 2007. Figures 10-1 and 10-2 show living arrangements by age in 1993 and 2007 for men and women aged 55 and older, respectively. The figures show that, like in many countries in Asia, most older adults in Indonesia co-reside with at least one of their children. There are differences in the living arrangement patterns between males and females, as will be discussed later in this chapter. Overall, the patterns do not seem to have changed over the years. (Similar patterns emerge when we use data from other years of the Susenas between 1993 and 2007.) These figures seem to still be consistent with what some previous studies have found on the patterns of living arrangements of the elderly in Southeast Asia. Frankenberg, Chan, and Ofstedal (2002) found that in Indonesia, Singapore, and Taiwan, the pattern of living arrangements is relatively stable, at least throughout the 1990s.
It is important to note, however, that the Susenas is not particularly well suited for analysis of this kind. First, one could only identify relationships in the household relative to the household head. Second, only limited socioeconomic characteristics were collected. Third and perhaps most importantly, the survey does not collect any information on nonco-resident family members. In addition, cross-sectional analysis may