Friday, July 16, 2010

Things Like This Happen From Time To Time

She receives a little over seven hundred dollars a month disability payments.  Her rent is three hundred fifty a month.  For that amount she shares a bathroom with four other residents of a converted something or other.  Her room is slightly larger than her bed.  There isn't sufficient space for a chair.  She is able to only buy a few perishable items at a time because her bar refrigerator won't hold any more.  She owns a small television which sits on top of the refrigerator.  Her clothes hang from pegs on the wall.  She has a window -- some tenants don't.  She saved for two years and bought a window air conditioner but can rarely afford to use it.
This month she encountered some unexpected expenses -- medications and taxi fees because it's too hot to walk to her few appointments.  She has four dollars to last her the rest of the month.
"I'll be okay," she said.  "I've got some cans of soup.  Things like this happen from time to time."
She can't imagine why she feels sad.  She used to be happy.
She also used to have a job and a car and a one bedroom apartment.  She lost all of that when she fell and could no longer work.
She turned sixty-five not too long ago and wonders if there is anyplace to live where life might be a little easier.
Just because things like older adults going hungry when they didn't have enough money to last the month happen from time to time doesn't mean that they should.  In fact, when they do happen we should all be outraged and demand better treatment of older adults, and younger adults, and of each other.
We don't, though, because most of the time we don't even know about it.
Now we do.

1 comment:

Marnie said...

It's surprising that more senior citizens don't come forward to let everybody know Social Security isn't covering their living expenses. Something needs to be done at the government level - fat chance. The politicians are only interested in their pockets and could care less what the citizens are going through. I know first hand that I've had to tighten my bootstraps only to find I didn't even had the bootstraps - too expensive. A sign of the times. It's about time someone who cares gets into office to help the ones that really need help. I don't know if it will ever happen in my time but we can at least get it started for those that perhaps it might help. Thanks for letting me air this out.