Striking Disparities in Food Insecurity Rates Among Older Adults

Nearly 8 percent of adults age 65 and older are food insecure, meaning they do not always have balanced meals or enough to eat because they cannot afford it. However, there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in food insecurity among older adults. Black and Hispanic seniors are over three times more likely to experience food insecurity than their white and Asian counterparts. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 black seniors are food insecure, compared to about 1 in 18 …

Food Insecurity and Older Adults: What States Can Do to Help

En español | Food insecurity is a significant public health problem for older adults. In 2014, nearly 8 percent (3.47 million) of Americans age 65 and older were living in food insecure households, meaning they did not have balanced meals or enough to eat because they could not afford it. According to current estimates, the share of food-insecure older adults will increase 50 percent by 2025. Many low-income older adults who suffer from food insecurity are often forced to use …

How Has the Affordable Care Act Affected Americans Ages 50-64?

En español | As we approach the end of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s third health insurance open enrollment period, it’s a good time to look at how the ACA has affected older Americans. The ACA aims to make health insurance more accessible and affordable for all Americans. Before the ACA, out-of-pocket costs were rising and health insurance access declining among adults ages 50-64, an age group not yet eligible for Medicare. To assess the ACA’s impact on those ages …

Among Older African Americans, Depression Continues to Be Under-Detected and Undertreated

The good news is that appropriate treatment can help most older adults with depression. What’s more, Medicare has recently improved its coverage for people with mental disorders. It now covers a free annual depression screening, and beneficiaries no longer have to pay more for outpatient treatment of mental illnesses than they do for physical illnesses. In addition, Medicare’s prescription drug benefit covers essentially all antidepressants used to treat people with depression. Older African Americans’ Depression Is More Likely to Go …

Taking a Closer Look at Aging American Indians and Alaska Natives

I grew up next to the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state and I remember how native elders were revered throughout the community.  At the annual powwow the elders shared their history through song and dance, and all generations sat together, joining in the chanting and drumming. Those memories rushed back this week, as AARP’s Public Policy Institute released its most recent report, “Lifelong Disparities among Older American Indians and Alaska Natives.” AARP, along with researchers from Western Carolina University …

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Financial Access to Dental Care among Medicare Beneficiaries: Something to Chew On

Good oral health is a vital part of general health and overall well-being. However, it requires the regular use of dental services. Yet many older adults are unable to afford the care they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Moreover, there are significant disparities in financial access to dental services among older adults. In 2014, twice as many older adults of color were unable to afford dental care in the past 12 months than their white counterparts (Chart). Multiple …