IMPACT Update #2

The issue area that rose to the top from this year’s listening circles is elder care.  Our congregations’ elders and their caregivers struggle to find affordable care, cover their monthly living expenses and live alone without nearby help or care. So far, IMPACT’s Elder Care committee has met with five local experts to understand what’s happening in these areas. We’ve learned so far that nearly 1 out of 10 elders make less than $11,000 per year (JABA). Many elders struggle to afford the right care because they make too much for Medicaid but can’t afford to pay out of pocket (City DSS). Nearly 1 out of 4 elders live alone (JABA). The most reported cases of elder abuse are self neglect, which is often a result from living alone (County DSS). IMPACT is continuing to look into transportation, details about reports of abuse, and what’s happening in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. At the February Research Committee Meeting on February 18, we will create a problem statement to focus our efforts so that together, we can turn around the unfairness and suffering faced by our elders!

Specific Info and Next Steps

  • So far there have been 5 Research Visits with JABA, Senior Center, Gelbman Law, Albemarle and City DSS which houses adult services and protective services
  • 24% of elders live alone (JABA)
  • 11% of elders make less than $11K per year (JABA)
  • Multiple forms of elder abuse include neglect, self neglect physical, sexual and mental abuse, and financial exploitation (County DSS)
  • #1 form of elder abuse is self neglect for the county (County DSS)
  • Many are not criminal offenses so police may not always fully investigate situations (Gelbman Law)
  • Many of the places we went to are worried about affordable housing transportation, the lack of attention to the aging population in city and county strategic planning, and seniors who make just over the limit for Medicaid but still can’t afford good healthcare (City DSS)
  • We are waiting to receive data from the City and County DSS data on reports of elder abuse, as well as types and amounts of benefits do elders have received over the past 5 years

Next we’re meeting with:

  • Blue Ridge PACE
  • Geriatric Association
  • Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
  • Charlottesville Area Community Foundation Aging Committee
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • JABA Ombudsman
  • Housing Authority(s) (call)

If these issues are important to you, consider being a part of the research team!  You can talk with Rev. Wik or Sarah Peasley, or contact IMPACT’s Lead Organizer, Josh Scott, via email at:  [email protected]

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