Caring For Our Elders
A Growing Concern
After a lifetime of hard work, seniors whose fixed incomes have not kept pace with rising prices are increasingly at risk of hunger.
For older adults, inadequate diets can contribute to or worsen disease and delay recovery from illnesses. Many seniors across Northwest North Carolina are having to make hard choices between using their incomes for food, or for medicine.
A new report shows North Carolina as tied with Texas for fifth-worst in the nation for food insecurity among seniors 60 and older. Further, the report shows a continuing trend of higher food insecurity among racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, those who are younger (ages 60-69), and those who are renters.
A Quiet Crisis
Hunger among our seniors plays out quietly in homes across Northwest North Carolina as many older adults find themselves facing impossible choices, including choosing whether to buy groceries or pay for medical care and medications. As the baby-boom generation ages, the number of seniors facing hunger is expected to grow.
The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 45% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-09 recession. At the current rate, the number of food-insecure seniors may grow to more than 8 million by 2050.
Showing Up for Seniors
Our community-based partner food assistance network is a lifeline of support for an increasing number of seniors. As well, because we know that many seniors who are eligible to receive Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps) are not, we place special emphasis on reaching seniors through our outreach efforts.