Latinos among California’s “Hidden Poor”


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A study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has revealed the health struggles of specific demographics of California’s population. The research, entitled “Hidden Health Problems Among California’s Hidden Poor,” showed that one in four of California’s residents age 65 or older live alone and were “unofficially” in poverty.

“These older adults—the ‘hidden poor’—have substantially more health problems and less access to care than those with higher incomes, but they cannot afford to pay privately for assistance and often do not qualify for public programs that could help them manage their health problems. Planners and policymakers need to pay more attention to this hidden poor population,” the report said.

According to the findings, Latino seniors in particular are facing a significantly more difficult struggle. The health status “substantially worse among the hidden poor than among those with higher incomes,” those with lower incomes were about twice as likely to rate their health as only fair or poor.

The researchers report, “Latino … older adults who lived alone or with only their spouse/partner had the highest rates of being among the hidden poor,” at 35.4%. Nearly half of Latino elders struggle to maintain above the poverty line.

Read more about the report here.

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