Helen F. Holt, who served in the Federal government through 7 administrations, from Eisenhower to Reagan, passed away on July 12th at the ripe old age of 101 in her home in Boca Raton, Florida. Amongst the many contributions she made to improvements in elder care were creating standards for nursing homes, the invention of assisted-living facilities, the establishment of degree programs in nursing home administration, and the development of visitation programs between young people and the elderly. Helen, you will be missed. A complete obituary is available at the New York Times.
According to a White House policy brief, a 65 year old man, today, can expect to live another 17 years; a woman, 20 years. That’s great news … except that one third of the elderly rely on Social Security for over 90% of their income. That’s not exactly the equal balance of Social Security, individual savings, and employer retirement plans that was envisioned when Social Security came into existence. And 10,000 more Americans turn 65 every day. We’re definitely going to need to rethink how we handle retirement, and how we financially care for the elderly.
The USDA has a bunch of programs that specifically target older Americans. The Daily Journal Online goes into great depth on exactly how the USDA is working to improve the health and well-being of the elderly. Obviously, being the USDA, a great deal of attention is placed on nutritional assistance. Not only is nutrition core to the USDA mission, but this is an area where the elderly are particularly vulnerable. But the article also covers home investments (both single and multi-family), as well as general community investments.