The Elderly and Malnutrition

facts about new york city’s elderly

New York City is home to more than 1.4 million elderly people age 60 and older, representing over 17% of the city’s population.

Over the last decade, the older population experienced an increase of more than 12% – or 155,429 people – age 60 and older.

The number of our oldest meal recipients is increasing at a fast pace.

More than 60% of our meal recipients are over 80 years old, 23% are over 90 years old and more than 200 have lived at least a century.

As our meal recipients grow older, they are more likely to have mobility limitations.

Nearly all meal recipients need assistance walking. Approximately 66% use a cane, 39% use a walker and 16% use a wheelchair.

Our homebound elderly neighbors are isolated.

57% of our meal recipients live alone, 40% rarely or never leave their home and 8% have no one with whom they can talk – other than the person who delivers their meal each day.

New York City’s elderly are more likely to be poor than other people of the same age around the nation.

35% of our meal recipients are living below the 100% poverty level, meaning they live on less than $11,770 a year, and 50% of our meal recipients are living below the 150% poverty level, meaning they live on less than $17,655 a year.

Nearly 25% of our meal recipients are on Medicaid.

Between 1990 and 2013, the national poverty rate for older people declined from 12.8% to 9.6%, but the poverty rate for older people in New York City increased from 16.5% to 18.8%.

On average, poverty rates are higher for women living alone than for women living with a partner, for men living alone and for men living with another person.  This is mostly due to the fact that women tend to receive lower Social Security payments.

facts about food insecurity and hunger in new york city

According to the USDA, food insecurity means a person has limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.

There are over 167,000 food insecure seniors over the age of 60 living in New York City.

This number represents 13.07% – or one in 10 – of the city’s senior population.