|Title||Financial Management Assistance Use by the Vulnerable Elderly|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Degree||Doctor of Philosophy|
|University||The Ohio State University|
|Keywords||Health Conditions and Status, Net Worth and Assets|
The rapid growth of the elderly population raises concerns in the United States for older people's well-being. Effective financial management is important to the well-being of retired people since the elderly are more likely to face limited financial resources and complicated financial management tasks, such as navigating health care insurance payments and managing stocks. One way for the elderly to successfully manage their finances is to seek assistance from others. This study uses the 2000 Health and Retirement Study to examine factors affecting financial management assistance use by the elderly (individuals 65 years and older) facing difficulties managing their own finances. "Vulnerability" is suggested as a factor affecting financial management assistance use by the elderly. Vulnerability is a multidimensional concept incorporating health status, cognitive ability, and social interaction factors. The vulnerable elderly have health problems, reduced cognitive skills, and are often socially isolated due to the death of a spouse or retirement. Persons 65 years and older were found to be more vulnerable than persons younger than 65 years in terms of health status, cognitive ability, and social interaction. (n = 11,492). Since vulnerability is more prevalent among the older people, the study sample was limited to persons 65 years and older. Elderly persons reporting difficulty with financial management were studied to identify factors affecting financial management assistance use by the vulnerable elderly (n = 271). Logistic regression analysis revealed that age, presence of an IADL problem, depression, and computation ability affect older people's financial management assistance use. Elderly who are older, not depressed, and have an IADL problem and computation inability are more likely to use financial management assistance. Since depressed elderly persons are less likely to use assistance even if they have difficulties managing finances, the depressed elderly may be in a vulnerable situation with respect to effective financial management. Interventions related to financial management may improve the financial well-being of the depressed elderly. The findings of this study suggest that the factors determining older people's use of financial management assistance are physical and mental health status and cognitive ability rather than economic status.
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