Honors Senior Theses/Projects


Maya Herb

Date of Award


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Margaret Manoogian

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


Older adults with low socioeconomic status who age in their communities can be invisible. These people have unique needs and while there are systems in place to provide services, there is always room for improvement. Programs are available to older Oregonians who are financially vulnerable to address their basic needs. This work investigates the current challenges to addressing these basic needs and areas where advocacy work could be applied for this population. Financially vulnerable older adults, especially those at or below the federal poverty line, face issues of food insecurity, problems finding adequate but affordable housing, the costs and accessibility of caregivers and medical care, and more. These realities have repercussions on health and quality of life for lower income older adults. These factors, additionally correlate in different ways with higher likelihood of negative health outcomes and greater likelihood of disability and death. Interviews with five professionals working to provide governmental assistance to this population reveal both what is being done and areas of improvement for these services.