Feeding American reports that about 6 out of 10 adults over the age of 50 have had to choose between paying for medical care or buying food. As chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and dementia continue to increase, it does make you wonder. If your parents had to pick between medications or food, what would they do?
Medications Make It Hard for People on Fixed Incomes to Afford Groceries
If you look at the cost of medications and health care for many of the common chronic health conditions, it’s not hard to understand why so many seniors struggle to have enough to eat.
According to MD Magazine, people with high blood pressure spend around $166 a month extra on health care. That’s the equivalent of $40 a week in money that’s not available for groceries and other household expenses.
Alzheimer’s cases are growing at alarming rates. According to Consumer Reports, patients pay up to $400 a month for prescription medications, and that was in 2012! That equates to around $100 that could be spent on weekly groceries.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetics pay about $9,600 a year in medical care. That breaks down to around $800 a month or $150 a week.
Social Security Doesn’t Pay That Much
According to Forbes, the average Social Security check in 2018 was around $1,400. By the time you’ve paid for property and school taxes, utilities (water, heating, electricity, etc.), home upkeep, and medical care, it’s understandable that many seniors are forced to decide between medications, medical care, or food.
If your parent has a pension or retirement fund saved up, that will help the monthly income stretch, but it may still not be enough. You’ll have to start thinking about getting bills balanced to match the income they do have coming in.
What Can Your Parents Do?
If your parents are finding it hard to cover the cost of food, you need to talk to an ombudsman. There are programs that can help.
You also need to decide if they’re handling activities of daily living well. It may be time to hire home care aides to help create a shopping list that sticks to your parents’ budget. The caregiver can cook meals for them and make sure they’re eating regularly.
Caregivers can also help your parents fight food insecurity by helping them grow vegetables at home. They can join your parents outside and make sure gardening is completed with safety in mind. Call a home care agency to learn more.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Homecare in St. Petersburg, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.