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Times are Changing: Needs of Low-Income Seniors in the Spotlight

February 25, 2016

Recently there has been a groundswell of media, academic, and pundit attention on the issue of senior poverty.

From the New York Times, the The Atlantic, to NPR, important and influential sources are finally acknowledging the difficult reality that too many of the older adults in our families and communities are facing. At Justice in Aging we are working with partners to leverage this attention to push for policy changes that can help these seniors.

You can help by making sure that policymakers and leaders in your community see these important stories.

Has your local newspaper written about senior poverty yet? If yes, let us know. If not, you can use the stories below to help them frame stories about how poverty is impacting seniors in your community.

Here are some of the simple things you can do right now to make sure policymakers in your community and in Washington DC know about senior poverty:

  1. Choose the stories from the list below that you think resonate the most in your communities and with policymakers and media in your area.
  2.  Amplify in the following ways:
  • Share these stories in your newsletters or on your website
  • Write op-eds focusing on how these issues are playing out in your local communities
  • Share these stories with policymakers and request action
  • Share them on Facebook and invite grassroots action
  • Tweet them and tag your local reporters and elected officials

Dying on the Streets: As the Homeless Age, the Health Care System leaves them behind, article, February 17, 2016, STAT, Bob Tedeschi

Your Call: The Economic Realities of Retiring, radio show, February 16, KALW (NPR Affiliate) Features our own Amber Cutler talking about poverty and SSI.

Disparity in Life Spans of the Rich and Poor is Growing, article, The New York Times, February 12, 2016, Sabrina Tavernise

The Homeless are Aging Too, article,, February 1, 2016, Shannon Roberts

Too Poor to Retire and Too Young to Die, article, Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2016, John M. Glionna

Modern Rent Parties Highlight the Need for Affordable Housing, NPR Story, All Things Considered, January 27, 2016, Pam Fessler

How the Homeless Population is changing: It’s Older and Sicker, study and article, The Conversation, January 8, 2016, Margot Kushel

Social Security in an Election Year, editorial, New York Times, January 2, 2016, Editorial Board

A Smarter Plan to Make Retirement Savings Last, article, New York Times, January 1, 2016, Teresa Ghilarducci and Hamilton Jones

By 2050, There Could be as Many as 25 Million Poor Elderly Americans, article, The Atlantic, December 30, 2015, Teresa Ghilarducci

An Aging Society Changes the Story on Poverty for Retirees, article, New York Times, December 22, 2015, Eduardo Porter

The End Game: How Inequality Shapes our Final Years, Book, Harvard University Press, June 2015, Corey M. Abramson

Baby Boomers and Beyond: Facing Hunger after 50, Report, Feeding America and the AARP Foundation, 2015

For ongoing news, follow the Spotlight on Poverty News Scroll and filter by Aging.

We can all make a difference in raising America’s conscience about the struggles of low-income older Americans, and this can lead to real action on the issues. While the nation’s eyes are on these stories, let’s make sure policymakers cannot continue to ignore the seniors living and struggling to survive in our communities.

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