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Area 4: Financial Safety and Security
The impact of social security and Medicare is fundamental to the financial well being for persons 65+. The debates, policy changes, and impacts of those programs will be played out at the national level. However, there is potential to improve other aspects of financial safety and security at a local level. The rate of financial crimes against older persons is trending upwards.
The 55+ Survey revealed that the community rated financial security
as the most important factor that affects their quality of life.
Action 4.1 – Decrease food insecurity and food deserts. Food deserts occur when there is an area with high poverty and no access to a supermarket to purchase affordable, good quality food.
- Assist in the establishment and support of urban and community gardens, mobile markets, community kitchens, and food hubs to increase access to nutritious food and availability of free or reduced price food.
- Provide incentives for small businesses that develop local and healthy food enterprises in food desert areas.
- Create demand for small businesses to change their business models to sell fresh and healthy foods in local markets.
- Provide education about Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP aka food stamps) benefits and eliminate barriers that dissuade seniors in applying for SNAP benefits.
Action 4.2 – Create Respect for Elders and Prevent Elder Abuse
- Create broad use of an abuse registry and criminal background checks used to determine whether certain individuals should be prohibited from working with or volunteering to help certain vulnerable populations or in certain settings, such as financial institutions, faith based groups, community centers, home care.
- Develop broad community education programs that positively change attitudes about aging and refute myths and misconceptions to reduce the occurrence of elder abuse, or at least increase the public outcry against it.
- Provide training for employees about interacting with the aging population that reflects the physical changes of aging and promotes health aging.
- Create communication mechanisms that broadly alert the community when newly emerging financial scams occur.
Action 4.3 – Help Older Persons Be and Feel Safe in their Community
- Continue the implementation of a Triad program where the local police/sheriff departments work cooperatively with senior citizens to prevent the victimization of the elderly in the community.
- Implement needs community involvement and citizen cooperation in block clubs, neighborhood watch programs, and other crime prevention plans with citizens who are willing to support such activities in their communities.
- Develop education about home security programs which makes citizens aware of the steps they can take to make their home and surroundings safer and more secure and at the same time alleviating their unwarranted concerns.
- Encourage the expansion of mandated reporting to include people in a position to identify potential abuse situations.