Best Life: Homeless seniors
ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) - The golden years are anything but golden for tens of thousands of seniors who can’t make ends meet.
Seniors are outpacing just about every other age group in the country that finds themselves living in poverty.
In fact, with inflation, and a possible recession looming on the horizon, the numbers are expected to get even higher.
“I’m homeless because I’m out of the hospital. I lost everything. I had no place to live. I didn’t have any place to stay. I do recall sleeping one night behind a dumpster,” said Linda Flores.
Linda Flores is homeless after a car accident left her with a long recovery. She’s 65 and has no prospects of starting over. Her story is one of the thousands playing out around this country, at a staggering rate.
According to the latest U.S. census bureau data, more than 10 % of the elderly population is living below the poverty line. That means over 15 million older adults aged 65 plus are economically insecure, with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level.
These older adults are trying to live on just under 26,000 a year.
There are plenty of resources available to struggling seniors.
A recent study found that less than half of eligible seniors participated in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “SNAP.”
Eligible elders can get an extra $250 a month for groceries.
Pricey health insurance and prescription costs can take a big bite out of retirees’ incomes as well.
The Medicare savings program may be able to cut costs on monthly premiums.
In addition, those enrolled in Medicare part D, which covers prescriptions, should check to see if they qualify for extra help.
The benefit can be worth more than $5,000 a year according to officials.
For more help, the National Council on Aging has a “benefits checkup” website where you can learn about more than 2,000 resources available to struggling seniors by zip code.
“I have a lot of hope. I have faith in myself that I’m gonna go back to reality. Start all over again, and I think that it’s gonna be okay,” said Flores.
The U.S. Department of Labor has a program that helps low-income, jobless seniors find work and get certain training.
Another resource is the national nonprofit group SER and its network of community organizations that offer job training to older adults.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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