Mike Richards / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's budget impasse has now been going for about two and a half months, and it's starting to impact some of the state's most vulnerable residents.

Allegheny County’s Human Services Department’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA) said this is coming at a time when demand for services is rising. 

AAA has a proposed budget of $51 million, but that depends on state lawmakers and the governor resolving their budget dispute.

Pennsylvania's Population Becoming Older, More Diverse

Jun 30, 2015
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Pennsylvania's older and minority populations continue to grow, according to a new report released by Penn State Date Center. 

The number of Pennsylvania residents 65 and older reached more than 2.1 million in 2014 — that's one in six people — continuing the trend of the state's increasing older population.

When it comes to protecting those most vulnerable to influenza, a high-dose flu vaccine may be most effective.

That’s according to the findings of a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine which found that giving a high-dose vaccine to elderly people in long-term care facilities helped build immunity. Each year in the U.S. there are 3,000 to 49,000 influenza-related deaths.

A panel created to examine how the state can better serve and protect elder Pennsylvanians has finished its work after 18 months with more than 100 recommendations.

The Elder Law Task Force, made up of lawyers, prosecutors, judges, advocates and program administrators, issued its final report Monday. Suggestions range from requiring legal guardians to receive training on ethics and liability to increasing funding for legal aid to low-income seniors.

A new piece of legislation aims to take a bite out of the burden placed on the “sandwich generation” – a group of adults usually in their 40s or 50s who are wedged between caring for their parents as well as their own children.

Despite bringing in $99 million dollars more in sales than last year, the PA Lottery is seeking to lower the percentage of revenue it is legally required to give to programs for seniors.

For the third year in a row, the lottery has given more than one billion dollars to programs that help the elderly with transportation, prescription costs and even tax rebates. This year, $3.8 billion dollars in sales revenue were generated, with $1.8 billion going towards seniors, the largest dollar amount in PA Lottery history.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

They’re known as the “sandwich generation:” people simultaneously caring for aging parents and children still living at home.

They are typically in their 40s and 50s, and according to U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), they’ve been all but ignored by policymakers.

On Monday, Casey held a hearing in Pittsburgh to learn more about the experiences of people in the “sandwich generation” and to hear from social service and healthcare professionals about potential policy changes that could ease the burden of those caring for both parents and children.

Older Unemployed Get New Opportunities

Jun 9, 2014

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for persons ages 55 and older has increased steeply since the 2008-09 recession. Many were laid off in favor of younger employees, who are more familiar with new technology, leaving older workers with obstacles to support themselves and their families.

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh is working to improve the lot of older, lower-income job seekers with the Mature Workers Program, which gives eligible workers on-the-job training for up to four years at local non-profits.

Steps for Older Adults to Reduce the Risk of Falling

Apr 8, 2014
Jym Ferrier / flickr

Among people 65 and older, falling is a dangerous reality. Yet a new program has reduced falls among the elderly by 17 percent statewide according to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Steven Albert is Chairman of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Services and says older adults often do not realize the severity of their falling risk. 

With more than 2 million citizens 65 or older, Pennsylvania has the fourth oldest population in the United States, and experts say they aren’t getting the care they need.

Advocates and senior citizen care professionals met to discuss the safety of the state’s elderly with a Pennsylvania Senate committee. Drawing up a four-year aging plan for the state, the meetings emphasis was on senior abuse.

Self-neglect and caregiver neglect make up about 65 percent of all reported abuse cases in the state, but the majority of cases go unreported, according to the panel.

United Way Report: Elderly Needs on the Rise

Oct 23, 2013

Fewer funds and resources for elderly and disabled people along with a growing aging population are creating problems of “epic proportion,” according to a new report from the United Way of Allegheny County.

United Way President Bob Nelkin said that with new medical advancements people are now outliving their spouses and caregivers more than before, and their needs are increasing. 

According to the latest numbers from the Federal Trade Commission, 26 percent of all securities fraud is perpetrated against seniors, but seniors only represent 14 percent of the nation’s population.

Senior citizens are being targeted in the latest over-the-phone scam.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has issued a warning to seniors after a recent spike in “robocalls.”

These robocalls are designed to obtain credit card and other personal information from unknowing victims by claiming to sell medical equipment like life monitors for $35 a month. In recent calls, companies identified themselves as “Senior Medical Alert” or “Senior Medical Advisors.”