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More Older Adults Slipping Into Poverty

The number of older people slipping into poverty is on the rise. And for many, it’s a new experience.

Dawn Gileau is the director of Banner Olive Branch Senior Center in the West Valley. The center is closed due to the pandemic, but it still serves meals to its clients.

"And what's heartbreaking is they start lining up at 6 a.m. Doors open at 11 a.m.," she said. "So, that's how important the food is to these folks."

Worse yet, she says, the number of older adults living in poverty is growing.

"When you look at the census for 2010, compared to 2020, there's a 22% increase in poverty for those that are over the age of 60."

She thinks many older adults are outliving their retirement or if they lose a spouse, they also lose a source of income.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.