About 12% of older Texans live in poverty, and the numbers are even higher for Hispanic and Black populations.

Texans 65 and older who live below the poverty line are more likely to suffer health consequences because of the lack of transportation, the inability to afford the out-of-pocket medical expenses and the cost of prescription medications, according to Jacqueline Angel, a professor of health and social policy at The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Policy.

“These sources of vulnerability have persisted and when they persist, they add to a life that clearly calls for interventions that will help to make abetter life for our low income, older adults,” said Angel, who studies health and retirement issues with a focus on the Hispanic population.

The border and rural areas are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of access to specialty care, allowing health conditions, such as diabetes, to deteriorate.

"For low-income seniors, these are challenges as we get older. Aging isn't for sissies. It really requires a lot of resources," Angel said.

Gabriella Alcorta is a journalism major at Texas State University and an intern for Texas Community Health News, a collaboration between the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the university's Translational Health Research Center. TCHN stories, reports and data visualizations are provided free to Texas newsrooms.