222949 Characteristics of older adults experiencing unaffordable housing costs and food insecurity

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Lisa Kleiner, JD, MSS , Research and Evaluation Group, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Lynne Kotranski, PhD , Vice President, Research and Evaluation, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Francine Axler, MPH , Research & Evaluation, Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia, PA
Many older adults are at risk for experiencing poor nutrition as a result of cutting meals to pay for other essentials, such as shelter. This paper looks at the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of 2,329 adults age 65+ in Philadelphia and four adjacent suburban counties who are experiencing difficulties affording their current housing and are cutting meals due to cost. The random survey was conducted in Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) in the summer of 2008. Nearly one-third of adults age 65+ in SEPA (31.7%) found it very or somewhat difficult to afford their housing costs in the past year, and 4.1% of older adults cut a meal due to lack of money. Older adults reporting difficulty in affording their housing costs also were more likely to cut meals than those who had not difficulty affording housing costs. Among those reporting that housing costs were unaffordable, 3.5% cut a meal compared to 0.5% of those who reported housing costs were affordable, representing nearly 18,000 older adults. This paper describes the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of older adults at risk for poor health outcomes because they cannot afford housing and necessary food. The results have important implications for planning nutritional assistance for older adults, especially the need to consider housing and other costs as barriers to nutrition and health promotion for this vulnerable population.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Design outreach protocols and health promotion programming to better address the needs of older adults who are at risk for poor nutrition due to unaffordable housing and food costs.

Keywords: Food Security, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research on the health promotion and health and social service needs of residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania, including older adults.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4276.0: Nutrition and Aging