Community-dwelling older adults who are low-income and disabled weathering financial challenges

Laura J. Samuel, Rebecca Wright, Marianne Granbom, Janiece L. Taylor, Ciara Hupp, Laken Lavigne, Sarah L. Szanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite interventions aiming to improve outcomes among older adults experiencing financial challenges, the challenges and strategies employed to handle them are poorly understood. This study examined the experiences of financial challenges among low-income adults aged ≥65 years. Eleven semi-structured interviews were analyzed using thematic analyses. An overarching theme was “I guess it balances”, capturing attempts to maintain hope and proactively address challenges despite stress, uncertainty and limitations. Balancing was demonstrated within four domains, including cognitive bandwidth (“think a lot” versus “I don't dwell on that”), emotional experience (“depressing” versus “be thankful”), learned resilience (“that was a shock” versus “there's always a way”), and meeting daily needs (“we learned to do without” versus “take a dollar and stretch it”). Participants described being weathered by challenges and using predominately high-effort coping strategies to weather the challenges. These findings call for strengthening the safety net for older adults facing financial challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-907
Number of pages7
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Aging
  • Coping
  • Financial strain
  • Income
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Weathering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology


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