Over at New America Media, Linnie Frank Bailey is doing an excellent three-part series on “Aging in the Inland Empire: Redefining Poverty & the ‘New’ Poor.” The data for California show that the majority of African American seniors and many other seniors of color are in very serious economic and/or health care trouble, many because of the huge budget cuts coming in the California state and local budgets imposed because of poor taxation and management in that state over decades now:
Elder advocate Jackie Melendez reports seeing a new kind of elder abuse these days. It doesn’t involve those who usually prey on elders — the abusive caregiver or financial scam artist. This time it is the seniors who are the abusers. Their target? Themselves.
“Self-abuse among elders is a growing problem in the Inland area,” says Jackie, founder of Inland Seniors Caring Connection, a nonprofit that raises money for Meals-on-Wheels and other elder support programs. “They give up,” she says. “They stop taking their prescriptions, they stop shopping for food, they stop cleaning their houses and they let their appearance go. Many times it is the physician who first notices something is wrong.”
Melendez attributes most of the elder self-abuse she sees to angst over the deteriorating economy in the Inland area and fear about what the future holds. This fear of the future is exasperated by recent budget cuts in California affecting senior services and programs. Many are living a retirement with much less money than they planned, and they don’t know where to turn for help. Melendez says her organization is one of many that tries to help seniors find resources. But this is becoming increasingly more difficult as programs are cut.
Welcome to the “most affluent country” in the world, as our politicians have often bragged. This is a series well worth circulating to students and others around the country. Very revealing on how capitalism works today, and who actually pays for its recurring crises. And revealing too on how none but the progressive media deal with capitalism as a human failure?