More than 13 million older adults are living on just $21,780 a year or less according new data released by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
A new campaign launched by the organization spotlights how older Americans are one bad break, one accident, or one layoff away from economic disaster.
“We are already receiving real stories of seniors who are struggling,” said Sandra Nathan, senior vice president for economic security at NCOA. “It’s clear that vulnerable older adults are in desperate need of help and want to be heard.”
To spotlight their struggles—and call for change—the NCOA is rolling out One Away, a national advocacy campaign that uses video to allow older adults to tell their own stories, in their own words.
As part of the campaign, a Harris Interactive poll found that almost two-thirds (63%) of adults aged 18+ said they or an older adult they know is struggling to make ends meet in today’s economy. A majority (62%) also know one out of three older adults that relies on Social Security for over 90% of their income. In addition, almost three-quarters (72%) either underestimated or did not know that nearly 6 million seniors are at risk of going hungry every day.
“The struggles seniors are facing are all too often overlooked or dismissed,” said James Firman, president and CEO of NCOA. “This campaign is about elevating their voices, and we need Congress to catch up to the realities of their constituents and develop concrete solutions to make life better for our seniors.”
Full results of the poll can be found here.