Many of you may have focused on Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS in the past few weeks, with major international conferences on both subjects. If you’re like me, you probably missed other developments on the aging beat while trying to keep up. Here are a few recent reports that may have escaped your attention:
This is the most comprehensive examination to date at how the housing crisis has affected older Americans. The key findings, as described on AARP’s website:
“As of December 2011, approximately 3.5 million loans of people age 50+ were underwater-meaning homeowners owe more than their home is worth, so they have no equity; 600,000 loans of people age 50+ were in foreclosure, and another 625,000 loans were 90 or more days delinquent. From 2007 to 2011, more than 1.5 million older Americans lost their homes as a result of the mortgage crisis.”
The New York Times was one of the few publications to write about the AARP report. An excerpt from that story highlights the economic insecurity that many older adults are experiencing:
“(O)lder Americans are losing their homes because of pension cuts, rising medical costs, shrinking stock portfolios and falling property values, according to Debra Whitman, AARP’s executive vice president for policy. They are also not saving enough money. Half of households whose head is between 65 and 74 have no money in retirement accounts, according to the Federal Reserve.”
What are the health care implications? Older adults without secure housing are less likely to seek ongoing care and more likely to develop preventable complications from existing conditions as they struggle to keep afloat.
Watch for a tip sheet on the economic status of older adults on the AHCJ website in the months to come.
Another look at the economic crisis and older Americans, this documents the special challenges faced by seniors of African-American, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and other heritages. As noted in the introduction, all these groups experience disproportionately high poverty rates: Continue reading