More than 13 million seniors in the U.S. are economically insecure. These individuals are having to decide which bills to pay every month and live in constant fear of medical bills that they will not be able to afford.
Even worse, elderly abuse (both physical and financial) is being reported all over the country. If our older Americans can’t even rely on their caregivers, who can they rely on?
Well, unfortunately it looks like the government won’t be helping very much either. The Obama Administration’s budget includes a 45 percent cut to the Senior Community Service Employment Program, a 45-year old program that helps unemployed people over the age of 55 find part-time jobs for community service organizations. And the kicker? Eligibility for this program is limited to 125 percent of the poverty line.
In addition, the budget cuts the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which will increase the burden of heating and cooling bills for older Americans substantially.
Where are our priorities? Is America leaving our older Americans behind? How can we reinstate the respect for elders that many countries in the Pacific do so much better than we do?
The National Council on Aging is sending a message to Congress to remind them that we must take care of our older Americans. If you have a story to tell, add it to the petition today! Your stories are critical for the effectiveness of this message to Congress.
Photo courtesy of the National Council on Aging