Friday, May 1, 2009
Is It A Happy Older Americans Month?
I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Older Americans month, but it may not be so happy for some. Anyone planning for retirement – especially those relying on infamous investors – feels less secure than they did a year ago.
On May 6, 2008, PathWays PA, along with Wider Opportunities for Women, CARIE, and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, released the first edition of The Elder Economic Security Initiative for Pennsylvania. In it, we showed that in Pennsylvania, one out of four elders relies upon Social Security as his or her sole source of income, even though Social Security comes nowhere close to covering the needs of elders.
Our Policy Brief goes into more detail, but the needs of Pennsylvanians boil down to saving for retirement when possible and knowing about the programs available to retired Pennsylvanians. Low-income housing takes care of the biggest need in retirement, but food stamps, prescription assistance, and medical assistance help a lot too.
For those of you who want to take action, there are many ways to do so, but one bill stands out: Representative Mundy reintroduced a bill to increase the scope of a grant to caregivers to cover the costs of respite care, supportive services, and everyday needs (such as incontinence pads). Please write to your representative today and ask them to support the Family Caregivers Support Act. And take a minute to call, hug, and/or visit with your favorite Older Americans too.