What can we do to help older Americans who are struggling? The conversation has started—add your ideas on how we can improve programs and services around employment, nutrition, health, housing, and transportation for vulnerable seniors in your community.
Because of the high cost of living in California and a one-size-fits-all federal poverty measure, the official poverty rate leaves thousands of California seniors invisible to the public eye. These real people, our parents and grandparents, disappear on paper, caught in an “eligibility gap” with too much money to qualify for many public and private support programs but not enough to cover their most basic needs. Enter the Elder Economic Planning Act—a little-known bill to help seniors that was signed into law on Oct. 9.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is a key vehicle to provide support that keep older adults healthy, independent, and engaged in their communities. Since 1965, the OAA has funded programs and services such as nutrition assistance, caregiver support, transportation, and more.
Many of today’s older adults are one fall away from physical and economic disaster. The good news is that falls are largely preventable and are not an inevitable part of aging. September 23 is the 4th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day, dedicated to increasing awareness of falls as the leading cause of injury deaths and nonfatal injuries for those 65+.
More than 80 advocates joined the One Away campaign on Capitol Hill last week, as we premiered our third national video and launched our drive to have every member of Congress publicly support the Older Americans Act.
Emma has been caring for her 85 year old mother and 102 year old Gran for years. Several times each week they take the senior bus to the Josephine P. Argento Center, where they meet their friends for group exercise, lunch and of course bingo. Two days each week Gran goes to an adult day service program where she participates in all sorts of activities. These programs allow Emma to have a break from her caregiving duties, give them all a sense of independence and belonging and allow Emma’s mom and Gran to remain in the community and out of nursing homes.
Senior Services is proud to present its latest video, "A Daughter's Struggle to Stay Afloat as Caregiving Resources Sink." Listen to Lupe's story as she talks about her economic struggles and taking care of her mother with Alzheimer's disease. Female caregivers will lose an average of over $300,000 in lost wages, retirement benefits, and Social Security when they leave their jobs to take care of a loved one.
When we talk about caregiving issues with respect to aging, most often people are referring to seniors caring for their spouses or older family members. However, as I read the numerous One Away postcards, I am reminded of the hundreds of struggling seniors who are caring for young adults and children. Dozens of these stories are from seniors who are already living with such extreme limited incomes yet are stretching their dollars to help raise their grandchildren and even great-grand children.
Thanks to our 4,000+ One Away supporters, we have quite a story to tell Congress this month! One Away will be taking your real stories of struggle directly to Capitol Hill—and asking members of Congress to act. You’re invited to join us for this special event.
Per a previous blog post by my colleague Ali Cherry, Giving voice to more older adults. Will you help? on August 5th, I wanted to share my thoughts on one particular postcard that caught my attention.
Older non-drivers--who often are low-income--make far fewer excursions outside the home than their driving counterparts, a fact that can lead to social isolation. For these seniors, affordable, accessible transportation options in their communities are essential to maintaining their health and independence.