The number of female senior citizens living alone accounted for 77.6 percent of the total solitary elderly population in Seoul, a report from the city government showed on Sunday.
According to the report, the average income of a woman over age 65 living alone was 425,000 won ($390) per month, 79 percent of what men of the corresponding status earned. Elderly women made up 7.7 percent of the economically active population, half that of men. In addition, the number of houseless women amounted to triple more than men.
“We plan to give specialized support to solitary elderly females as the findings show elderly men and women have different needs,” said Jo Hyun-ok, an official from Gender Equality and Family.
Female senior citizens living alone in Seoul were also more prone to illness than solitary elderly men, especially when they were older and had a lower income. About 44.9 percent of such women did not keep in contact with friends and 47.5 percent were isolated from their neighbors.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is developing policies to support the female elderly living alone and preparing specific measures in services needed by seniors such as health, safety and job opportunity.
By Yoon Ha-youn, Intern reporter