Poverty Among the Elderly
Within the next 10 years, the population of the elderly homeless is expected to go up by more than 30 percent. The reason behind this? The nation is getting older, we’re living older longer, and the elderly are facing poverty at rates that we haven’t seen in decades. In Massachusetts, our elders' income covers 60 percent of all living expenses. And a setback like the death of a spouse or unexpected medical expenses could force an elder onto the street. With projections that poverty and homelessness among the elderly will only go up, does the state have the resources it needs to handle this? With talk of cutting entitement programs like Medicare and Social Security, what could the fate of the elderly be?
Judith Gonyea, professor and chair of social research at Boston University School of Social Work