Supporting Our Older Citizens

When I think of my grandmother, Laura Townsend, I can’t help but smile and reminisce of all of the great times we shared.  Her wisdom and mentorship was invaluable and greatly contributed to my overall success in life.

 

Historically, societies have struggled with how to humanely accommodate aging and older people.

After centuries, not much has changed. Most societies are continuing to grapple with the “place” of older people. The United States of America is no different from other advanced societies. We are caught between wanting older people to be productive and contributing citizens to providing a comfortable non-work lifestyle.

Attempts to bestow dignity upon older people began in the 1930s with the Social Security Act and continued in 1965 with the passing of the Older Americans Act. Older people were singled out as a class of people to be cared for and protected. A greater focus must be on ensuring that older adults have the support to lead viable and productive lives based on their level(s) of functionality. Everything possible must be done to embrace the inclusion of older people in every aspect of life.

Coronavirus has put a particular national spotlight on unmet needs of the growing older population in our country, and the tens of millions of overstretched family and professional caregivers they rely on. Care is and always has been a shared responsibility. Yet, our policy has never fully supported it. This moment, challenging as it is, should jolt us into changing that.

As City Councilwoman Zuri will:

  • Advocate for Universal Family Care.

  • Advocate for public policies  that will support programs that create opportunities for low-income elderly to get outside of their neighborhoods, to have more diverse connections.

  • Increase funding for Senior Services and Community Centers. 

  • Advocate  for more dedicated  subsidized and affordable housing for older people.

  • Advocate for financial assistance such as debt relief for older people. As retirement benefits will cover only one-third of your living expenses.

  • Advocate for more funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA).

  • Advocate for more funding to help combat Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Advocate for improve transportation for older citizens.