Labor Day Musings about Seniors

As per usual Americana, we “celebrated” the holiday by breakfasting at a local eatery (yes, Hoi Polloi) and then going retail at Staples, Target, Best Buy and Giant Eagle. I tried to muster up some sympathy for laborers, but the customer service experiences at the Cedar Avenue Giant Eagle are very trying.  Sigh. 

When it comes to issues of labor, I think of my Dad.  He is 68 years old and has been working in the mills for over 40 years.  He can't retire b/c the promise of permanent health insurance from his company is long gone and my mother lives with a myriad of preexisting conditions that will make finding affordable gap insurance too pricey.  Her prescriptions run to hundreds and hundreds of dollars and they are caught in the working class trap of too much retirement income to qualify for assistance programs and too little to afford what they need without living in utter poverty. 

We have some Plan Bs thanks to my education and familiarity with little known (or promoted) social service programs for disabled adults such as my mother.  That's just dumb luck.  If I were an accountant or a teacher or a self-employed blogger, I would be out of luck.  Even this is not guaranteed, but a shot is a shot.  Plus, if she weren't technically disabled with documentation, there would be no shot. 

They are true blue Republicans who are being terrorized by their own party to vote against their self interest.  There is no other person I know who wil be more directly affected by this issue than my mother, but she believes the rhetoric.  It is very sad.  I can only be grateful that Mike Doyle isn't going anywhere when he's up for reelection. 

Speaking of seniors, this story at Pam's House Blend caught my eye last night while I was talking about her site on Sister ShOUT! (our new podcast in case you hadn't heard – LOL).  It seems that senior heterosexual couples who are registered domestic partners in at least 7 states are going to be impacted by legal challenges/referendums to domestic partner registries.

Barrista Lurleen does a great job pointing out that one of the most powerful lobby groups in the nation, the AARP, remains silent on this issue which will impact thousands if not tens of thousands of senior citizens, many of whom are making this decision based on financial survival. 

Here in Pennsylvania, LGBT advocate State Representative Dan Frankel has been working to educate the public on the role that anti-civil union/domestic partnership efforts will play in hurting Pennsylvania unmarried heterosexual seniors. 

There are a lot of seniors like my parents who could benefit from these recognitions. The sad truth is that my parent's would be financially better off if they divorced so my mother could qualify for services based on her income alone, but they would sooner live on the street.  That's a sad state of affairs. 


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