|Abstract or Summary
- The consumer as an active member of the marketplace has
gained much attention in past years. Information concerning specific
consumers is vital to those who are involved in consumer education.
The aged consumers are one group that gains much concern.
A sample of 25 aged persons in Corvallis was surveyed concerning
what consumer problems they might have. The interview
format was formulated as a result of finding that consumer problems
of the aged align themselves in four major areas. These areas include
1) frauds and quackery, 2) financial management, 3) problems
resulting from lack of knowledge of consumer information, and 4)
problems caused by certain limiting community environment.
The age of the consumers used in this study ranged from 60 to
75 years. Ninety two percent of the group was women and eight
percent was men. Sixty four percent of the group was living in single
family dwellings. The level of education of this group varied from
completing primary grades to post graduate education.
Fifty six percent of the aged group had incomes of less than
$5,000. The range of income for married persons was $3,000 to
$10,000 a year and for single persons and widows the range was from
$1,000 to over $10,000 a year. The major sources of this income
were Social Security and retirement pensions.
Changes in spending practices after retirement included items
such as unexpected costs, not having money for small items, a fear
of not having money and moving from rural areas to city areas. Some
related that no changes were made. Other inquiries were made into
how and where the older person was making purchases and what specific
problems they felt were of concern. Examples of fraudulent
practices were also obtained. Specific kinds of information that the
aged consumer considered helpful included such items as more
package information, finding someone to go to when help was needed,
and more general information on products available.
Based upon the completed study, ten basic recommendations
for program design in adult education were developed. Each recommendation
is directed to those who may be involved in developing a
program, or are considering the feasibility of designing programs for
the aged consumer. Specific suggestions were given for the type of adult education program design which might be developed for the