AARP on a Mission to Help Older Americans

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Emily Allen, Senior VP of Programs at the AARP Foundation, to discuss the challenges Americans over 50 face and how AARP Foundation is working to build nationwide programs to provide assistance to older Americans.

7/5/2017 #2055






"The public television family is pleased to welcome Emily Allen, Senior Vice President of Programs, AARP Foundation. It's good to have you with us. Thank you for having me. For those who don't know what the foundation is, tell them. Sure. Absolutely. We are a nationwide organization that focuses in very particularly on the issue of senior poverty. We know, in this day and age, that even if you have a lot of resources, life can be challenging. But then you keep in mind the fact that 20,000,000, we estimate that 20,000,000 older adults don't have adequate financial resources, and are really at risk of not meeting their basic needs. So the foundation's mission really is about creating and advancing the most effective solutions that help those low income older adults meet their basic needs in life. Describe some of the most pressing challenges these older adults are facing? Sure. Absolutely. You know, when you think about basic needs in life, think about just what you need to survive on a day to day basis. And it goes back to do you have enough food on the table? Are you food secure? Are you struggling with hunger issues? We estimate that 10,000,000 seniors in this nation face the threat of hunger everyday. 10,000,000? 10,000,000. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean it's just amazing. And it's often not a case of not enough food, but is it access to adequate and nutritious food? Healthy food? Healthy food. Exactly. Why is that harder? Well, you know, a variety of reasons. You know, when we think about older adults. Where they live. Are they in an urban setting? Are they in a rural population where maybe what we consider a food desert? So there's food there, but it's more a corner market kind of thing? Right. Where there aren't fresh fruits and vegetables or other types of sources like that. So it's a struggle for individuals. Income security, income insecurity? Right. Talk about it. Absolutely. So we know that older adults, particularly when we've... in... with AARP Foundation we're focused on people who are 50 and older. So a lot of times people think, you know, skewing older, okay, you've got Social Security or Medicare, when you think about 50 and older, these are individuals that are very often wanting and needing to stay in the workplace, and for whatever reason, may have lost a job, and are really struggling with getting back into a job, and having that secure, steady source of income. Hmm. So the foundation very much focuses and works with partners across the country to ensure that older adults have the right skills and have the right connections in order to get back into a good job in their community..."