Inflationary pressures felt by North Carolina’s aging population, especially those on fixed incomes :: WRAL.com
The Consumer Price Index report, released monthly by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, shows inflation rose nearly 10% in June. That means items you paid for at the store in June 2021 cost almost 10% more this year.
And not only that. Prices increased by 1.3% between May and June of this year. So if you feel like everything is getting more expensive, it’s not all in your head.
While rising consumer prices are hard on everyone, data shows that inflation is making life especially difficult for the American population aged 65 and older.
Nearly 56 million American adults are over the age of 65 and are more likely to live in poverty than younger adults.
Young adults have greater upward mobility, while those 65 and older often live on fixed incomes. This means that even if everything becomes more expensive, their income does not increase.
North Carolina’s 65-and-older population told WRAL News they are struggling to afford basic necessities like food, shelter and medicine.
“When I go to the grocery store, I have to be very careful because so many items are expensive,” said Gladys Boone, who lives on a fixed income in Wake County. “I pick it up, look at it and put it back down. I go, ‘Oh, I want it, but I can’t afford it. “I said, ‘Well, maybe next time,’ and then I think about it, and I know when I come back next week, it’s going to be higher.”
Others, like lifelong Wake Forest resident Debbie Hill, have temporarily come out of retirement. Hill said she did administrative work a few times a month, and that still wasn’t enough.
“For example, the pharmacy called and said, ‘Why didn’t you get all your medicine filled on the first of the month?’ And I said, ‘I can’t afford it,'” she explained.
Carla Payne considers herself a member of the aging population as well as a lawyer.
“I’m also a geriatric care manager, so I work with families dealing with elder issues,” she said.
She said the cost of home care, which many adults aged 65 and over need, has skyrocketed over the past year, forcing older people to dip into their savings.
“Literally spend it all. While they thought they could leave property to their family as an inheritance, now they have nothing,” she said.