What Does the Economic Downturn Mean for Seniors?
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Seniors have been hit especially hard by rising prices and the stock market plunge. Many who had planned a move to an assisted living or other retirement community find that their plans are on hold. Now, family caregivers are wondering what impact the economic crisis will have on their loved one's living situation.
The current economic crisis has dominated the headlines for months now, and you may have seen coverage of how the situation is impacting seniors. Here is a small sampling of news stories from the past few months:
As these stories show, with steadily rising prices, seniors who live on a fixed income have been especially hard hit by the economic situation. Some have cut back on necessities such as meals, healthcare appointments and medications.
Baby Boomers and younger seniors also face a sobering situation as they have seen the value of retirement accounts plummet. Many are delaying previously planned retirement, or are going back to work. A rising number of older adults are staying in their homes rather than making a preferred move to a retirement community, finding themselves unable to sell their home in today's market, or unable to sell them at the price they need.
Adding to the crisis, lowered tax revenue, budget cuts and soaring operational costs are stretching the resources of the social services and charitable organizations which serve the needs of the most vulnerable seniors.
What Should Seniors, Loved Ones Do?
People with retirement accounts should speak to their financial advisors about the best strategy. Many Boomers are advised to continue working while retirement accounts recover. For current retirees, taking a part-time job if possible can help make ends meet. (This news isn't all bad—a side benefit of working is that it encourages staying active and connected in the community.)
Families and friends of frail and disabled elders should help ensure that they are accessing all possible services. To find out about food stamps, assistance with heating bills, caregiver support and other senior support programs, call your local Senior Information and Referral number, or go to the Eldercare Locator online.
Home Care Can Help
Many experts believe that family caregivers will be called upon more than ever to pick up the slack in caring for older loved ones. For seniors who live alone or with family, home care may be an option. With the help of home care services, including meal preparation, light housekeeping and companionship, seniors and families are finding that staying at home is indeed possible.
Right at Home is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned, franchised providers of in-home care and assistance services.