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Senate Committee to Hear About Seniors Hit Hard by Recession from NCOA

Hearing to Focus on Aftermath of Recession on Older Adults and Ways to Provide Economic Assistance

Oct. 17, 2011 - The National Council on Aging will provide testimony tomorrow on behalf of senior citizens and their increasing economic insecurity. Testifying will be NCOA's senior vice president of economic security, Sandra Nathan, PhD, to define the issue with stories of what seniors are facing around the country, and propose solutions that protect and strengthen Social Security, Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, LIHEAP, and other benefits and services that contribute to senior's economic independence.

The hearing, entitled "'The Recession and Older Americans: Where Do We Go From Here?' will focus on the effect of the 2007-2009 recession on adults 55 and older, and how growing unemployment, the collapse of the housing market, and a large drop in lifetime savings has affected the retirement security of older Americans.

The hearing will look specifically at the income, health, and labor market challenges of retirees and those nearing retirement and will also focus on how the Cost of Living Adjustment within Social Security is calculated."


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The hearing has been convened by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging in Dirksen Senate Office Building Room SD-430, at 10:00 a.m.

"Many older adults are barely getting by, and a lot of their current options for help are disappearing," said Dr. Nathan. "Congress needs to find creative ways to ensure better coordination of existing public and private resources so that one of our most cherished populations is not left out in the cold in the twilight of their lives."

Dr. Nathan's testimony will provide solutions and recommendations grounded in NCOA's benefits access, workforce development, and home equity programming. In addition, her remarks will reflect the trends and findings of an innovative new approach to economic assistance NCOA is testing in partnership with 12 communities through its Economic Security Initiative.

These recommendations are detailed in, "A Blueprint for Increasing the Economic Security of Older Americans: Recommendations for the Older Americans Act."

In addition to aging service experts and academics, the panel will hear testimony from a struggling older adult who was one event away from economic crisis, before receiving critical employment and training services that helped turn her life around.

Over the past year, NCOA has captured thousands of stories and videos from across the country as part of OneAway, an innovative advocacy campaign that uses video to allow vulnerable and disadvantaged seniors tell their stories of struggle in their own words.

The campaign is asking organizations and individuals to show their support for the Older Americans Act so it can continue to help seniors stay healthy, secure and independent.

More than 13 million older adults live in or on the edge of poverty, with less than $22,000 each year. These seniors live one bad break, one accident, or one layoff away from economic disaster.

To see more stories of struggle, or to support older adults, please visit

About NCOA
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit: | |



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