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Older People and People with Disabilities: Social Protection Programs

At present, federal financing is available for people with disabilities and the elderly. Nevertheless, it is considered adequate as such groups of society are often forced to rely on charities, loans, and competitive grants. Additional support also involves non-federal organizations with limited resources (NIH National Institute of Aging, 2017). For individuals unable to work, it might be challenging to repay loans. The issue results in the inability of such individuals to have homes and mobility; it increases food and water insecurity. Therefore, quality of life improvement for the disabled and elderly is possible by prioritizing federal funding. The principal question is whether the financing is realistic enough to meet the needs of both older adults and people with disabilities.

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The livelihood of the elderly and disabled should be improved due to several reasons. First, inadequate housing results in increasing social isolation of fellow citizens so that they cannot access the surrounding community in case of an emergency (Landeiro et al., 2017). One-third of the elderly population is affected by social isolation and loneliness, worsening their physical and mental health (Landeiro et al., 2017). Second, due to high housing bills, the elderly and disabled are most likely to forego health care, transportation services, and food purchase needed for well-being (Stone, 2018). For instance, housing cost-burdened elderly reduced their spending “on transportation by 67%, food by 37%, and health care by 51%” (Stone, 2018, p. 230). Third, there is an upward trend in the aging population, so the share of older adults will compose a significant portion of the country’s population.

The opposite arguments concern additional taxation, lack of housing units, and reallocation of funding. First, additional rental subsidies for the elderly and disabled will lead to a growing financial burden for other citizens due to the new tax credit (Fischer et al., 2017). Second, even though the financial aid might be increased, there is still a lack of accessible households for people with disabilities. Thus the reform should be aimed at constructing appropriate housing instead of raising federal financing (Chan & Ellen, 2017). For instance, less than 4% of housing units meet the requirements of people with moderate mobility difficulties, and about 1% have wheelchair accessibility (Chan & Ellen, 2017, p. 172). Third, increased federal financial support will withdraw money from other sectors, funds and initiatives, negatively affecting education, health, science organizations.

Older people and people with disabilities are considered one of the most vulnerable groups in society. They face loss of sources of income and weakness, discrimination, neglect, and violence. These risks can be mitigated through various social protection programs. Federal financing is a means of protection against all sorts of social complications and risks of the short and long term. In recent years, federal financing programs have become the subject of lively political debate, undergone reforms. In the United States, the focus of controversy is the stability of financial programs in light of the latest demographic trends and methods of adapting systems to the conditions of increased life expectancy. The vulnerable groups of people rely on additional support such as charities, loans, and competitive grants (NIH National Institute of Aging, 2017). The problem is inadequate financing resulting in housing issues, food insecurity and impaired mobility. The main concern is how to ensure that federal financing is funded relatively to benefit all older citizens and people with disabilities.

Sources

Chan, S., & Ellen, I. G. (2017). Housing for an aging population. Housing Policy Debate, 27, 167–192.

Fischer, W., Sard, B., & Mazzara, A. (2017). Renters’ credit would help low-wage workers, seniors, and people with disabilities afford housing: Investment would help rebalance housing policy. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Landeiro, F., Barrows, P., Musson, E. N., Gray, A. M., & Leal, J. (2017). Reducing social isolation and loneliness in older people: A systematic review protocol. BMJ Open, 7(5),1-5.

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NIH National Institute of Aging. (2017). Paying for Care. US Department of Health & Human Services.

Stone, R. I. (2018). The housing challenges of low-income older adults and the role of federal policy. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 30(3-4), 227-243.

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