In this powerful 10-minute video featuring our Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, the filmmaker explores the ageism inherent in the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This first episode of a series explores the widely-shared narrative that our elders should be sacrificed for the economy, as exemplified by comments from conservative political leaders suggesting that the economy has more value than the health and safety of vulnerable people. “Age and ageism is really strange type of othering, said Kevin. “Because we all hope to eventually grow older. But we tend to think of older people as a “them” and that allows us to make policy decisions that are not only harmful for that group, but for all of us.”
Stria: The Truth About Older Consumers: Household Budgets (November 26, 2018)
This piece challenges some of the “successful aging” narratives about older adults that are common in U.S. media. The author explores some of the different expenses older adults encounter (such as higher health care costs) that make them vulnerable. The author also acknowledges that many older adults start out as poor, and aging makes them poorer, and that some older adults, such as LGBT older adults, are more likely to age into poverty. The author interviewed Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, for insight into senior poverty, who said, “The cost of housing and health care keeps rising. Pensions are smaller than had been promised and some have disappeared altogether. Social Security is a bedrock, keeping 15 million older people out of poverty—but just barely. We have not strengthened or expanded Social Security and it’s not keeping up.” Read the full article.
Los Angeles Times: California’s Senior Population is Growing Faster than any other Age Group. How the Next Governor Responds is Crucial ( October 7, 2018)
The next governor will be confronted with a demographic shift of epic proportions: Seniors will be California’s fastest-growing population. Between now and 2026, the number of Californians 65 and older is expected to climb by 2.1 million, according to projections by the state Department of Finance. By contrast, the number of 25- to 64-year-olds is projected to grow by just more than half a million; the number of Californians younger than 25 will grow by a mere 2,500. The reporter interviewed Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, at length for the article. The Justice in Aging perspective on senior poverty was well reflected in the fact that the journalist noted that the state is going to have to grapple with poverty in a different way, due to the unique needs of seniors aging in poverty. Kevin notes, “We get a lot of pressure to come with ideas that don’t have a dollar ask, but we’re going to have to spend some money to solve these bigger problems.” Read the full article.
During last night’s Democratic debate, Gwen Ifill shared a question from Farheen Hakeem about senior poverty. While both the Democratic and GOP debates and have discussed poverty and income inequality, Farheen’s question was the first specifically focused on senior poverty. Farheen is a 40-year-old woman who works for a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin. She asked:
“My father gets just $16 in food assistance per month as part of Medicaid’s family community program in Milwaukee County for low-income seniors. How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”
I had the good fortune of representing Justice in Aging at last week’s Aging in America conference in Chicago. The annual conference, hosted by the American Society on Aging, provides an excellent opportunity to connect with leaders in the field of and learn from experts about the latest developments in the field. Six things stood out for me about his year’s conference.