The Face App thing may have run its course.
You know the one. It was supposedly invented by the Russians to divert us from Trump or something. And then Trump, obsessed with attention, diverted us back away from an app that would show us what we looked like when we got old.
Some people were freaking out that this was a Russian plot to get pictures of your face.
I just didn’t get that concern.
I’m already old. Well, 71 is not that old. Except that most forms that ask demographic information stop at “65 and above.” Like being 65 and being 90 is the same thing.
I just finished a book, Elderhood, by Dr. Louise Aronson. She looks at the issue of medical care and the elderly and at the way the medical establishment addresses the issue of aging.
The medical establishment doesn’t do it well.
Elderhood is not a disease any more than childhood is a disease.
I mostly love my life since retiring from regular employment and I am mostly healthy, so that’s good. We’ve planned for this and we are very lucky that our plans have worked out so far. But there are no guarantees.
That’s why it is called “luck.”
Those who rule this country (and here I am talking about the 1%, the Republicans and the Democrats) are working hard to undo the plans of those Americans who were lucky enough to be able to make plans for living comfortably in elderhood. They are constantly devising ways to diminish retirement benefits like Medicare, Social Security and public employee pensions.
They scapegoat us as the cause of federal, state and local budget deficits.
More than one Illinois legislator has complained to me that the cause of the state’s pension problem is that we are living too long.
In most of America many elders are struggling to even afford enough food to eat.
Five and half million of the elderly, according to CBS’ Money Watch, didn’t have enough to eat in 2017.
The researchers have a name for our folks who don’t have enough food:
New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi are the three states with the highest number of seniors — more than 10% of the state’s senior population affected by the hunger crisis, followed by D.C., North Carolina, Texas, Alabama and Rhode Island, it added.
Two-thirds of all hungry seniors (65.3%) have incomes above the federal poverty line ($12,140 a year, or $1,012 per month for a single person household in 2017). And younger seniors — aged 60 to 64 — are twice as likely to be food insecure as seniors who are 80 or older.
But “food insecurity” can’t be viewed in isolation from the other factors that impact our economic life in elderhood.
The elderly skipping meals is often because we can’t afford the high cost of health care, housing, utilities or even getting on a bus.
I frequently ride the Fullerton bus and am constantly surprised by the number of elders who drop cash money in the fare box because they can’t afford a pre-paid Ventra card.
And there is this:
A staggering 3 million senior citizens aged 65 and up are paying off their student loans, totalling up to $86 billion, CBS news reported. And many are having their Social Security benefits wiped out to pay off their debt.
Not all seniors are all aware or able to access public-health benefits. Around 5 million households with a senior receive, on average, $125 per month in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, yet only 2 in 5 SNAP-eligible seniors are enrolled in the program.
Low income and rising costs are a dangerous combination. About 40% of middle-class Americans will live close to or in poverty by the time they reach age 65, according to a study by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School.
There’s no app to fix that.