Austin’s ‘Silver Tsunami’: Number of Poor Elderly Skyrockets

by | Apr 9, 2012 | Austin News | 0 comments

Austin’s ‘Silver Tsunami’: a nickname given to the growing group of citizens who are elderly and receive small Social Security checks because they did not make much when they worked or they were homemakers or who are living longer than their savings. Austin’s population of elderly residents who live in poverty has increased 42 percent in Central Texas since 2000 and the city is not equipped to handle their needs, Statesman.com reports.

Austin’s population of elderly people, while small, has grown 27 percent since 2000, which is twice the national rate.  Partially because of Austin’s reputation as a young, hip city, it does not have the resources necessary to take care of its aging population.  Austin has only one state-licensed adult day care center, while other cities have many, many more.  Other challenges include transportation, affordable housing and adding to its number of health workers for seniors.

The trend is only expected to get worse, with the number of pre-seniors, those aged 55-64, increasing 110 percent in the past decade.  Already, charities who help seniors in need such as Meals on Wheels and Family Eldercare are experiencing long wait lists for their services.  This leaves many seniors with no choice but to rely on their neighbors in their Austin apartments or homes, many of whom are elderly themselves.

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