What Does Economic Struggle Look Like?
4663 stories and counting. Share the next one. What does economic struggle look like?
I’m 57 year old woman living in rural west Tennessee one small step from homelessness. Formally, a business woman who traveled the world for a living, held corporate jobs of high esteem, raised a child as a single mother in my 30’s, who now has been reduced to living in a horse trailer or a dilapidated house which my estranged husband put in bankruptcy.Mariann Paris, TN
The struggle of past two years has driven me to a mental breakdown & the brink of suicide where I teeter everyday. Senior services here are overwhelmed & offer only token solutions. I am willing to work & understand the need for me to do so for both financial & social reasons. However jobs are non-existence in this small community leaving only ridiculous solutions like our local TN State Vocational Rehabilitation “Workshop” which offers piece from a local factory at a rate of about $7/day. That’s right, $7/day. The work from the factory is too menial to have the factory employees perform at about $12/hour so the Vo Rehab gets the downtrodden, depressed, broke & broken locals to perform the tasks & save the factory a huge savings. I wish I could understand how this is helping these people.
In the past two years I have done unspeakable things, things I never thought I was capable of, just to keep my electricity on.
I was told by our TN Career Center I needed to create a volunteer position & the jobs will find me. I started a Community Garden three years ago & have yet to find funding much less a job. When jobs do become available they are quickly & quietly filled through nepotistic & nefarious means.
As I sink deeper & deeper into debt with no possible way out I wonder how many others are in my shoes? I never see the rural issues addressed much less any help. When I asked the Dept. of Human Services about government health care I was coldly asked, did I have cervical or breast cancer, because that was all they had coverage for. How is this helping the disenfranchised?
Worst of all, my parents, in their 90’s are living here & frequently need me. They have subsidized strangers coming over to help them but the government does not allow relatives to perform these duties & get paid. I know many Boomers on this same Merry-go-round. Many of their parents are combative & will not allow anyone else to touch them but family so someone has to stay home & not get paid. Some have married partners so there is some income. Others are living off the rapidly disappearing unemployment. I don’t have any other options.. After three years of non-stop job hunting I am still unemployed. I can’t relocate because of my parents.
Your One-Away movement has great potential to change many lives from quiet desperation to hopeful.
Please do not drop the ball on this one. Make this an opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of rural aging Boomers, their parents & all Americans who have to deal with the “What if’s” of aging in America.
My uncle lives several states away from me. He's still living in his own home on a very limited income. His health is declining. He needs services to stay at home, but it's not easy for me to know how to find him help from so far away. There doesnt seem to be one place I can call to get him all the help he needs.Nancy Fargo, ND
As you get older, figuring out how your health care coverage works should get easier not harder!Amy Laurel, MD
Last month, I visited my 79-year-old grandmother in New York City. She was crying because she didn't have enough money to pay her rent and her Medigap insurance policy. I want to help her, but I may have to drop out of college because I can't pay next semester's tuition. My grandmother told me not to quit school, no matter what.Sara Bayonne, NJ
I hate to know that older people are stranded - unable to get to the grocery store, an appointment, or even interact with the community - simply because public transportation services aren't available to them. Struggling in isolation shouldn't be acceptible.Laura Naples, FL
My grandmother was a cashier at Stop and Shop grocery store right up until she passed away last summer. For my birthday every year, she gave me $10 and it broke my heart because I know how much she needed it. She shouldn't have had to work 6 days a week at the age of 67 just to make sure she could pay for all of her doctor's visits and heart medication.Ali Washington, DC
My 86 year old aunt is the primary caregiver for my 93 year old Mom. They have both spent the little saving they had. With their combined social security income, they are just barely able to cover basic expenses. If would be nice if my Aunt could get paid something for her caregiving, since she's saving the State the money it would cost for my Mom to go into a nursing home.Susan Spokane, WA
My neighbor, who lost her husband last year, is now just scraping by on a decreased income. She has been able to stay in her home, but doesn't have the money to make needed repairs.Bill Portland, OR
My brother-in-law was laid off from his job at age 60. Now he has no income and no health insurance, but he doesn't qualify for Social Security for two more years and Medicare for five more years. Not sure how he'll make it until then.Jean Gambrills, MD
My 83 year old grandmother in Washington state pays almost $900/month for medicine. How is anyone supposed to keep up with that?Ken Centreville, VA