Silver Sands

Cases of elder financial abuse are rarely clear-cut; more often they present a messy trail of poor decisions, declining cognitive ability, aggressive or unscrupulous lenders and self-serving family members. But the results can be stark: lost dreams, financial ruin and even homelessness for elders or their heirs. And the loss of a long-held home not only curtails a family’s economic rise, but can fray the cultural fabric of a neighborhood.

The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA), slated for July 13 in Washington, DC, is focused on four priority areas: retirement security, healthy aging, long-term services and supports, and elder justice. In response, The Gerontological Society of America has produced a special issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (Volume 25, Number 2), wherein the nation’s foremost experts on these topics make policy recommendations to improve the lives of all Americans as they age. The publication was supported by AARP.

Older Americans are entering retirement with fewer savings and more debt than in previous generations, putting wellbeing and housing security at risk for aging baby boomers. The picture is especially troubling for blacks and Latinos, who have earned less income and accumulated fewer assets on average over their working years.

Prof. James S. Jackson says the overwhelming propensity among researchers to view data on health disparities among African Americans through the lens of race is highly misleading, and masks deeper truths about how blacks and others cope with societal stressors.

Top