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The High Cost of Caring: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

July 3, 2013 Comments off

The High Cost of Caring: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Grandparents over the age of 65 who are raising grandchildren are a small but extremely vulnerable population in California. These older adults usually become the primary caregivers of their grandchildren after an unexpected event. They are further faced with the financial challenge of having an additional dependent without additional income. This policy brief documents that the actual income needed to support a basic standard of living for older adults with grandchildren in California is about twice the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), depending on the county. Using 200% FPL as an approximate measure, about two-fifths of older grandparents who are responsible for their grandchildren in the state do not have enough income to make ends meet. The Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index) for California calculates that the costs of housing, food, and the older adults’ health care account for more than two-thirds of total household expenses for grandparents and the grandchildren they are raising. Despite the high cost of basic needs, public assistance for low-income older adults and children continues to be squeezed. If they are to efficiently serve members of this fragile population, the existing programs that serve them need to maximize and streamline their impact through better coordination and collaboration.

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The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in California

September 1, 2011 Comments off

The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in California (PDF)
Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

This policy brief presents findings on the linkages between intimate partner violence (IPV), emotional health and substance use among adults ages 18-65 in California. Among the 3.5 million Californians who have ever been victimized by IPV as adults, over half a million report serious psychological distress (SPD) in the past year. Almost half of all adult IPV victims indicate that their partner was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during the most recent incident. Two-fifths of adult IPV victims report past-year binge drinking and 7% report daily or weekly binge drinking. One in three IPV victims expressed a need for mental health, alcohol or other drug (AOD) services and almost one-fourth used mental health or AOD services during the past year. These disturbing findings can aid strategies to identify, intervene with and assist IPV victims who experience emotional and/or substance use problems.

Food Environments Near Home and School Related to Consumption of Soda and Fast Food

July 29, 2011 Comments off

Food Environments Near Home and School Related to Consumption of Soda and Fast Food
Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

In California, more than 2 million adolescents (58%) drink soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages every day, and more than 1.6 million adolescents (46%) eat fast food at least twice a week. Adolescents who live and go to school in areas with more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than healthier food outlets such as grocery stores are more likely to consume soda and fast food than teens who live and go to school in areas with healthier food environments. State and local policy efforts to improve the retail food environment may be effective in improving adolescents’ dietary behaviors.

Aging alone: Older lesbians, gays have higher rates of chronic disease, mental distress, isolation

April 13, 2011 Comments off

Aging alone: Older lesbians, gays have higher rates of chronic disease, mental distress, isolation
Source: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Members of California’s aging lesbian, gay and bisexual population are more likely to suffer from certain chronic conditions, even as they wrestle with the challenges of living alone in far higher numbers than the heterosexual population, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Half of all gay and bisexual adult men in California between the ages of 50 and 70 are living alone, compared with 13.4 percent of heterosexual men in the same age group. And although older California lesbians and bisexual women are more likely to live with a partner or a family member than their male counterparts, more than one in four live alone, compared with one in five heterosexual women.

A lack of immediate family support may impact aging LGB adults’ ability to confront statistically higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, poor mental health, physical disability and self-assessed fair or poor health, compared with demographically similar aging heterosexual adults.

+ Full Document (PDF)

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