The Elderly Population And Advocate

1291 words - 6 pages

Elderly Population and the Advocate RoleWorking with elderly people is an excellent way to give back to any community; doing this helps those who are otherwise helpless and even unaware that they are digressing. The elderly community can face many problems including nutrition, locating housing that they can afford, and adequate medical care. Additionally, having the support and assistance of an advocate can help the elderly cope with him or her losing their ability to drive, his or her loneliness because of the death of a loved one, and even not having any family members around to show their support. Having advocates who are passionate in what he or she does is vital in assisting this group of people with his or her problems.NutritionMore often than many people realize an elderly person lacks adequate nutritional care. The main reason for this is that he or she does not have the monetary means to purchase nutritional food. This is because most time he or she has to choose between his or her medication and purchasing nutritional foods. Many times these people choose his or her medication over their nutritional needs. A simply solution to this is to work with the government program food stamps to raise the benefit amounts for those who honestly need these benefits. In Indiana the monthly income limit for a family of one in Indiana is $1,180, a family of two is $1,594. Making over this amount of money disqualifies a person from receiving these benefits (, n.d.). There are not any extenuating circumstances taken into consideration when looking at this income. Expenses such as rent or mortgage, gas, electricity, water, insurance premiums, medicines, and even phone bills should be factored into the monthly limits. After these items have been deducted from the monthly income it can leave little to no money left over to purchase food. This can have devastating effects on a person; he or she will have no choice but to pick an item from the list to do without. This is not only unfair but should never be an issue facing anyone, not just the elderly.Affordable HousingAnother issue that elderly people are facing is his or her ability to find housing that he or she can afford. While there is always housing in less desirable neighborhoods in areas of high crime, this is not a safe place for an elderly individual to live. With violent crime occurring he or she is a prime target for being injured or the victim of a burglary. Simply increasing the police force in an area where there is a higher population of elderly individuals would begin to discourage crime in the area. Additionally, adjusting the income limits for food stamps would allow a person to spend more money on his or her housing. This would allow them to find a home in a better area with less crime.Medical CareProper medical care is vital for anyone, the elderly included. Medicare beneficiaries out of pocket expenses are sizeable and when on a limited income, the elderly struggle to provide for themselves. These expenses also increase with age, so the elderly will continue to have additional expenses without additional income. It is shocking that a Medicare beneficiary who is between the ages of sixty five and seventy four spend on average $2,920 in out of pocket expenses. This means monthly that is $244; if he or she is living alone and a recipient of food stamps this means he or she has $936 or less to spend on the remainder of his or her expenses. If he or she is between the ages of seventy five and eighty four he or she spends on average $3,815 leaving a single person roughly $862 left to spend on necessities. Even more staggering if a person is over the age of eighty five, he or she spends on average $4,615 annually on his or her out of pocket expenses. This is roughly thirty percent of his or her annual income; leaving approximately $495 left over to live on monthly. This is not enough to live on. Additionally, these people who already are stretching his or her money spend on average another $70 a month on prescription drugs, further depleting his or her monthly income.Numerous experts believe that a couple who retires at the age of sixty-five will need to have at least $160,000 in savings in order to adequately support his or herself. This means having enough to provide for his or her medical care; including insurance premiums, heath care expenses, and medical expenses not covered by insurance. Unfortunately, this staggering amount needed in savings does not allow for needing to be placed into a long-term care facility. This issue is not only affecting the elderly, this is an issue for all Americans. State funded health insurance is an excellent way to help alleviate costs, however the income limits for this plan are so low, and most people do not qualify for it. Lobbying for adequate medical care for all is the best way to combat this growing issue. The Healthy Indiana Plan is a good beginning to doing this, yet these are still many restrictions to this health coverage plan. To qualify a person must:Not have had health insurance coverage in over six months.Not have had access to health insurance coverage through my employer.Not be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare.Be between the ages of 19 and 64.Be a legal United States resident.With this plan there are also income limits similar to that of food stamps (, n.d.). While this does help some people, it also hurts those making just enough to support him or herself or his or her family yet not enough to purchase health coverage through their employer. This however, is a good beginning point to start at in getting those who truly deserve adequate health coverage.Other IssuesMany other issues plague the elderly community including being abandoned by his or her family, feeling lonely because of the abandonment, and even losing privileges; like driving. Having the ability to drive gives the elderly a sense of freedom and allows him or her ability to interact with others; this will help alleviate the lonely feelings and increase his or her health because he or she is not dependant on others for health care necessities (Caponey, 20011).ConclusionThe elderly are a specific group of people who struggle to provide for him or herself on a daily basis. By simply looking into more programs geared more toward them and less toward income, the elderly population will greatly benefit. Without advocacy for the elderly, there is a grim future in store for the elderly population.ReferencesCaponey, R. A. (2011). Troubled With. Retrieved on September 10, 2012 from (n.d.). Family and Social Service Administration. Retrieved on September 10, 2012 from (n.d.). Family and Social Service Administration. Retrieved on September 10, 2012 from


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