Added: Alesa Shuff - Date: 04.09.2021 12:52 - Views: 45316 - Clicks: 3812
Mary Martin and Mary Moylan are well into their golden years, but the two St. John's women must still hold down jobs to make ends meet. Martin, 74, works as a home-support worker and Moylan, 76, as an ant to supplement the fixed government income they say is far too little to live on.
The two women have created the group SOS — Support Our Seniors — which aims to raise awareness about the financial hardships of the elderly. The group held its first meeting in St. John's on Thursday afternoon. Moylan said the federal government relies on seniors to keep their voices unheard, which she feels is the big issue. She hopes by getting other seniors to the group and remove the shame of living near poverty, seniors will have a stronger voice come election time. Data from Statistics Canada shows that in , 3. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it was 4. She often shops at thrift stores and only buys sale items at grocery stores.
Martin works five hours a day, 15 hours a week, and said she's almost always tired after her shifts end. But she says that she's thankful she can work even that much. Otherwise, she would likely have to give up her vehicle. She said she knows there are many other seniors across Newfoundland and Labrador and likely across the country with similar stories. One is an year-old housekeeper who works in the retirement facility where she lives. Martin wants other seniors to know her group is trying to do something about changing the way they live, but her peers have to come forward and say they need help.
In St. John's, Connections for Seniors provides temporary shelter and support to seniors in crisis or facing homelessness. The non-profit agency's co-founder, Mohamed Abdallah, told CBC News one of the most common stories he hears in the office is about seniors who can't afford food, or have to choose between buying food and their medication. The agency used to get about four client referrals a month and now gets about four a week, he said. And more than 60 per cent of his clients need financial support to make it to the end of the month, he said.
According to Abdallah, s and statistics don't always tell the entire story. He said it's necessary to address problems on a case-by-case basis instead of grouping together all seniors in poverty because they all have varying needs and expenses. Despite statistics showing that seniors living in poverty is gradually declining, Abdallah said the s his organization is seeing are actually increasing. And the message that seniors need more financial help has been consistent across Newfoundland and Labrador, according to Suzanne Brake, seniors' advocate in N.
Brake has been tasked with writing a report, the first of many she says, which will reflect what she has been hearing during public consultations across the province. For example, Brake said research collected at the Gathering Place, a social services organization in St. John's, show that one in two people who requires services are 50 and older. One in four is 65 and older. Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments.
Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time. the conversation Create . Already have an ? John's SOS group shines light on old-age poverty Two women have created the group SOS — Support Our Seniors — which aims to raise awareness about the financial hardships of the elderly. It held its first meeting in St. Social Sharing. Newest data shows poverty on the rise in N. Corrections An earlier version of this story included a graph showing poverty lines by metropolitan areas. In the updated story, the graph has been removed, as the s didn't reflect the situation for individuals living alone or people living with roommates or other non-economic family members.
Related Stories Newest data shows poverty on the rise in N.Newfoundland senior women
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Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network (NAWN)