Elder Care Update – March 2016

Our congregations’ elders and their caregivers struggle to find affordable care, cover their monthly living expenses and live alone without nearby help or care.After several visits with experts in our community we’ve learned that:

Each year the cost of long-term care is 1.5 times more than the average yearly income of those over 65. Long-term care can be in home or in a residential setting. There are many agencies doing great work serving the elderly in Charlottesville. However, there is currently no formal way for the major agencies to work together to address this problem. Therefore, the full scope of the problem and the many needs of the elderly go unmet.

Many have Medicare or Medicaid but still often they have to decide between care or their other monthly expenses. Yet every time we tried to determine how many people are in this chasm for care, agencies affirm it’s a problem but they don’t know how many are down there. How can we say we are a great retirement destination if our lead agencies don’t know who are struggling to make it in their late years? Our community is marketed as a great retirement destination but for whom?!

If these options were made more affordable then our community can truly be a great retirement destination for everyone, not just those well off AND not just the elderly.When we fight for justice for anyone, we are all better off.

But we know that no amount of research can make up for a lack of people power. Which is why we need our justice ministry network members to show up to the Rally on April 12th. We need to build ownership of our research and learn together how we will stand for our elderly who can’t afford to age with dignity and respect!