5 Common Reasons for Poverty in Seniors

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5 Common Causes of Poverty in the Elderly

By Home Care Assistance, 9:00 am on

According to a report released by the National Council on Aging, around 35 percent of seniors have no money left at the end of each month after paying all of their expenses. This means a single unexpected life event could potentially drive those individuals into debt or poverty. To prevent financial distress, seniors should be aware of some of the most common causes of poverty and the steps they can take to secure their finances. 

1. No Retirement Plan

Seniors who aren’t currently living on a fixed income should take steps to make sure their retirement plan is secure and robust. For many seniors, social security is their only form of income, and that is rarely enough to live on. At the very least, older adults should try to save up enough to cover emergency expenses such as a death in the family or a serious injury. 

Caring for an aging loved one can be overwhelming for family caregivers at times. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Grand Rapids, MI, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

2. Sudden Medical Bills

Medical bills can stretch a senior’s budget to the limit, which means he or she may not have enough money to cover a serious accident or illness. The best way to avoid those sudden expenses is to stay as healthy as possible. This includes eating well, exercising, and removing hazards from around the home. Seniors should also review their insurance policies once every few months to make sure they still have adequate coverage. 

3. Loss of a Loved One’s Income

The loss of a spouse or immediate family member can have a major impact on a senior’s mental and physical health. For those who rely on a second income, it can also result in serious financial problems. Many financial experts suggest having the highest earner hold off on retiring for as long as possible. If that individual passes away, more of his or her social security will be transferred to the spouse. Some couples also prepay their funeral expenses so the surviving spouse doesn’t have to manage huge bills before the accounts are completely transferred over. 

Seniors in need of emotional support and assistance with daily activities can benefit from professional in-home care. For families living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

4. Scams and Identity Theft

Due to the nature of these crimes, an older adult might not realize his or her identity has been stolen for months. All it takes is a single mistake, and a senior’s life savings could be wiped out by a criminal. Caregivers and family members should spend some time educating their aging loved ones about cyber crimes, online scams, TV scams, and identity theft. Seniors should also feel comfortable approaching their loved ones before making any major purchases.

5. Increasing Living Costs

One of the most common mistakes made by retirees is failing to account for rising living costs. After living in the same area for years, seniors might not even think about an increase in their property taxes, groceries, gas, utility bills, and medications. When planning for retirement, seniors should expect a minimum inflation rate of at least 3 percent a year. Now that seniors are living longer than ever, this can add up to be quite a bit in the later stages of retirement.

Seniors can mitigate some of the challenges associated with aging by opting for professional in-home care. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Grand Rapids live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. Call Home Care Assistance at 616-243-0835 to create an in-home care plan for your elderly loved one.