Poverty Status, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Disability among the Elderly Updated


Kathleen Abrahamson, PhD, RN, Western Kentucky University, Department of Public Health

Learning Goals


-Learn about survey methods and the availability of census data

-Learn how to construct and interpret bivariate tables

-Understand the importance of using data to support conclusions

-Develop the ability to relate findings to the implications they may have on long term care delivery systems.


-Examine the influence of economic condition on disability and self care.

-Examine the influence of intrinsic characteristics such as ethnicity, age and gender on poverty, disability and self care.

-Examine the relationships between poverty, mobility limitations and work limitations, and describe the effect this could have on the lives of impoverished elders.

Context for Use

This module is designed for use in a undergraduate college classroom. Basic computer skills are necessary, however students of all levels can succeed with instructor guidance. This activity could be used either as a self-directed student activity or as a supplement to classroom lecture material.

Description and Teaching Materials

Questions are included at the end of the activity. The instructor can determine if the student as appropriately completed the module and thoughfully considered the findings through the provided answers.

A primary goal of long term care delivery systems is to assist aged individuals with functional needs. Therefore, the need and type of long term care will be influenced by the functional disability of the population served. Functional disability in terms of mobility, self-care, and work limitations is influenced by social characteristics. This module introduces students to the relationships between age, race/ethnicity, gender, poverty, and disability. It also provides students with an opportunity to use census data to gather information about a target population.