Health and social precursors of later life retirement-community migration

Merril Silverstein, Diane L. Zablotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This study uses the developmental migration paradigm developed by Litwak and Longino (1987) as a framework to investigate the health and social determinants of late-life elderly mobility to retirement communities. Data from four waves of the Longitudinal Study of Aging are used to predict the likelihood of moving from the general community to two types of retirement communities - those with group meals and those without group meals. Multinomial logistic regression reveals that the likelihood of migrating to both types of retirement communities increases as disability advances to moderate levels, but declines as disability becomes severe. Migration to retirement communities is also more likely among elderly persons who live alone and among those whose children do not live nearby. The results suggest that retirement community migration in middle and late old age is motivated not only by social and amenity considerations, but also by the need for assisted living arising from physical frailty. Implications for developmental migration theory and long-term care policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S150-S156
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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