Senior Center

Seniors Share Their Stories of Economic Woes

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - April 17, 2011

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There are some startling statistics which sparked the need for this campaign. A recent survey conducted by NCOA found that close to 13 million seniors are trying to get by on $21,780 or less of annual income. This kind of hardship often forces these seniors to pick between buying food, paying utilities or filling a much needed prescription. Can you imagine trying to make those kinds of decisions? What kind of stress and anxiety would that mean for your day to day existence?

We are already receiving real stories of seniors who are struggling, said Sandra Nathan, senior vice president for economic security at NCOA. It's clear that vulnerable older adults are in desperate need of help and want to be heard.

Federal Budget Cuts Have Real Life Impacts

One Away has been launched in the shadow of ongoing federal budget cuts. What some members of congress call “discretionary spending” are actually very real lifelines for many Americans. In fact, a Harris Interactive poll found that almost two-thirds (63%) of adults said they either they are struggling to get by or they know an older adult who is having money problems.

Furthermore, the study also found that a majority (62%) also know one out of three older adults that relies on Social Security for over 90% of their income. When you consider that the maximum average for a Social Security benefit is around $1,500 a month, it’s hard to imagine how anyone can sustain on that alone. Another sad statistic is that almost three-quarters (72%) of the respondents either underestimated or did not know that nearly 6 million seniors are at risk of going hungry every day.

The struggles seniors are facing are all too often overlooked or dismissed,” said James Firman, president and CEO of NCOA. “This campaign is about elevating their voices, and we need Congress to catch up to the realities of their constituents and develop concrete solutions to make life better for our seniors.

If you know someone who might have a similar story to tell, help them find a way to One Away and let their voice be heard.

It’s one thing to read a news story citing a bunch of facts and figures about folks struggling to make ends meet. Yet, it’s quite another thing to actually put a face on such a personal story like that. That’s the goal behind a new program launched by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). One Away is a nationwide campaign which is setting out to illustrate the desperate times many seniors have found themselves in. The unique approach with reporting these stories is to let the seniors share what’s happening to them their own words on video. These poignant videos are then uploaded at One Away for the entire country to view.