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California's single seniors can't make ends meet
Date:2/24/2009

Nearly half a million elders living alone in California cannot make ends meet, lacking sufficient income to pay for a minimum level of housing, food, health care, transportation and other basic expenses, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The brief, "Half-Million Older Californians Living Alone Unable to Make Ends Meet," will be released today at a state legislative hearing on the growing economic plight of California's seniors jointly held by Assemblyman Jim Beall Jr. (D-San Jose), chairman of the Human Services Committee, and Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), chairwoman of the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee. The hearing will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the State Capitol, Room 437. A press conference will precede the hearing, at 9:30 a.m. in the Governor's Press Room (1190) at the Capitol.

More than 1 million seniors, both living alone and with family members, can't make ends meet, according to recent research. The center's policy brief looks at the most vulnerable group seniors living alone while the hearing features county-by-county data on all seniors.

The policy brief research is based on 2007 data, the last time comprehensive, statewide data was collected. But the numbers of affected seniors are likely to be even higher today as the current recession deepens, according to the brief's authors.

"As the economy wipes out retirement savings and destroys home equity, our parents and grandparents will find paying for a roof over their heads and affording basic necessities even more of a struggle," said Steven P. Wallace, Ph.D., associate director of the Center for Health Policy Research and lead author of the policy brief.

The brief includes county estimates of the percentage of economically vulnerable seniors. Those estimates show that elder economic insecurity is a problem in b
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Contact: Gwendolyn Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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