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Aging & Poverty -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Wienclaw, Ruth A.;

2009 / EBSCO


Millions of elders in the United States live below the poverty threshold, a fact that can have severe negative consequences for their quality of life. In particular, women, racial minorities, individuals with lower educational levels, and the very old are at greatest risk for living below the poverty threshold. These groups are also the fastest growing subgroups among the elderly within the United States. There are, however, a number of governmental programs available to help elders in need. These include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and reverse mortgages. Unfortunately, as the birth rate dwindles and longevity increases, these programs as we know them may be in jeopardy and need to be quickly rethought in order to provide for the projected needs of elders in the foreseeable future.