Harvard Women's Health Watch

The challenges of living alone

Living on your own can be empowering, but you need to stay safe and socially involved.

Many of us have always shared a home with someone else. We grew up with our parents and siblings, moved in with friends during college, and then created a household with our spouse or partner.

Later in life, our living arrangement changes. Nearly 40% of older women (8.1 million) live alone—more than twice the number of older men in the same living situation, according to the Administration on Aging. Much of the reason for women's solo habitation is our longevity.

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