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Half a Million Older Californians Living Alone Unable to Make Ends Meet

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Publication Date: February 2009

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Steven P. Wallace; Susan E. Smith

Topic: Health (Health services for older people)
Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: seniors; finance; California

Coverage: California


Using the Elder Economic Security Standardâ„¢ Index (Elder Index), the authors of this policy brief find that nearly half a million elders (495,000) living alone in California in 2007 could not make ends meet--lacking sufficient income to pay for a minimum level of housing, food, health care, transportation and other basic expenses. The authors find particular cost inequities for elderly renters, for Latinos, women and the very old and find the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) that many programs use as part of eligibility guidelines is inadequate to support the needs of many seniors in California.

The Elder Index is an estimation tool based on the actual cost in each county of basic necessities for older adults. This policy brief presents the first data on older Californians using the 2007 Elder Index. The supporting materials web page includes additional detailed county by county information.


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