The Affects of Sandy for Seniors
NJFA has partnered with NCOA on a few occasions to share a common message or service. NCOA‚Äôs One Away campaign has been something that NJFA has tweeted or facebooked about because we understand that many seniors (and many families) are one illness, one accident, on job loss away from a financial crisis. Now, as it turns out, they were just one hurricane away from financial disaster.
Before Sandy hit New Jersey, we knew there seniors who were living solely on Social Security. Many of them wondering by the end of the month how they‚Äôd make do until their next check. Sometimes, making a choice between food or medication or heat. NJFA has been aware of and worked on advocacy efforts for these seniors who are living on the edge of poverty.
NJFA‚Äôs 2012 Elder Index Update report shows that more than 25% of NJ seniors have difficulty closing the gap. We know that basic expenses in NJ for a single elder, in a one bedroom apartment are $27,960 a year. To read more of this report visit, http://www.njfoundationforaging.org/NJElderEconomicIndex2012.pdf
Certainly, seniors were among those affected by ‚ÄúSuper-Storm‚Äù Sandy. Being displaced from their home, losing their belongings, are all things that may have pushed those living on the edge, over it. Those seniors may now be faced with not only how to stretch their dollars, but where to find dollars to replace their belongings or their home.
As we continue to hear stories about the people dealing with the recovery from the storm, we will see people like, Robert Ford, a disabled Vietnam veteran, whose family‚Äôs story of trying to save his home and keep him in it, was featured in the Asbury Park Press on Dec. 3rd. http://www.app.com/viewart/20121202/NJNEWS/312020047/Sandy-Highlands-veterans
In the article, you can read about how the family is struggling to find ways and money to rebuild the home and get Mr. Ford back where he wants to be. But it is not so easy for people that were barely making ends meet before the storm.
There are probably also many New Jersey seniors, who like Elaine of Maryland, who was featured in a video about senior hunger put out by the National Council on Aging, had her home flooded and wonders now how she‚Äôll pay for the damage as well as continue to buy food, medication and pay for her heat. http://www.ncoa.org/get-involved/this-holiday-season-give-a.html
To find out about public supports and other programs that might help seniors in need contact your County Office on Aging, http://www.njfoundationforaging.org/services.html