Elder Index Reinforces Importance of Senior Citizen Services Act
41st District State Representative Judy Clibborn (center) met with Don Moreland, Jeff Bradt, Gigi Meinig, Cathy VonWald and Doug Ricker to discuss the Senior Citizen Services Act.
On March 28, a group of Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services members attended the launch of the Elder Economic Security Index for Washington in Lacey. The Elder Index shows what it actually costs older adults to live in our state, specific to each county. It is a much better measure of income adequacy than the federal poverty (FPL) guidelines, because it incorporates accurate, real-time cost data for housing, health care, food, and other essentials.
For example, the FPL guideline for Washington State is only $10,830 per year, while the Elder Index shows the actual minimum cost of living for a renter age 65 or older is almost double that, at $21,492. For a couple age 65 or older, with a mortgage, the Index is $38,388. The full report, and a short policy brief, can be found here.
Washington is one of 17 states to develop an Elder Index. The Index is the result of a fruitful collaboration between The Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Wider Opportunities for Women, and the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Advisory Council members Don Moreland and Diane Snell visited legislators on both February 24 and March 28.
The March 28 trip provided the perfect opportunity to meet with state legislators not visited during the snowy Senior Lobby Day on February 24. The Elder Index includes the Senior Citizen Services Act (SCSA) as a vital support helping older adults make ends meet, so Advisory Council members reminded their legislators of the need to preserve SCSA funding. They handed out the Elder Index Policy Brief alongside SCSA materials, further reinforcing this message.