Report: More of Ohio’s Older Adults Living in Poverty
Thursday, May 25, 2023
By 2030, more than one in five Americans - more than 73 million people age 65 and over - will be of retirement age, as the last of the Baby Boomer generation enters older adulthood. And a new report finds many are living in poverty.
The United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings Senior Report finds that in Ohio - the number of older adults who don't have enough money for housing, food, medical care and other basic needs rose from around 9% in 2019 to more than 10% in 2021.
Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer with UnitedHealthcare, said community service providers should increase resources based on the new data.
"We want to make sure that not only are we seeing that number decrease, but where seniors are living in poverty that the communities are aware of it," said Randall, "that they're thinking about community expenditures - what they need to do about affordable housing and so forth."
Nationwide, the early death rate among older Americans increased for the second consecutive year, breaking a long-term improvement.
In Ohio, drug overdose deaths among older residents have jumped by 43% since 2016.
Monique Morrissey - senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute - said in addition to cognitive decline, some older workers aren't healthy enough to do their jobs safely.
She added that a significant number of older Americans are trapped in jobs that might put them at risk, but are unable to afford retirement.
"Slower reflexes and other age-related factors make it harder for older workers to avoid hazards," said Morrissey. "As a result, workers aged 65 and older have more than doubled the fatality rate of workers overall."
Research shows more than half of the nation's older adults have physically demanding jobs, struggle with difficult schedules and are at risk of exposure to chemicals or other environmental hazards.
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