News

Older Adults Embracing ‘Living Apart Together’

MU researchers say couples need to discuss health decisions with families and partners

 


ResearcherJacquelyn Benson, assistant professor of human development and family science, says that if more people—young and old, married or not—saw ‘Living Apart Together’ as an option, it might save them from a lot of future heartache.

Jacquelyn Benson, assistant professor of human development and family science, says that if more people—young and old, married or not—saw ‘Living Apart Together’ as an option, it might save them from a lot of future heartache.
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Story posted: Feb. 09, 2017

By: Sheena Rice

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Since 1990, the divorce rate among adults 50 years and older has doubled. This trend, along with longer life expectancy, has resulted in many adults forming new partnerships later in life. A new phenomenon called ‘Living Apart Together’ (LAT)—an intimate relationship without a shared residence—is gaining popularity as an alternative form of commitment. Researchers at the University of Missouri say that while the trend is well understood in Europe, it is lesser known in the U.S. This means that challenges, such as how LAT partners can engage in family caregiving or decision-making, could affect family needs.