by John Grimaldi
WASHINGTON, DC — The inflation uptick continues to impose serious hardship on hungry senior citizens—particularly and tragically those suffering from malnutrition. The victims are the most vulnerable of our aging population– those who struggle to make ends meet on minimal fixed incomes at a time when the price of food is skyrocketing as the result of an uncontrolled, record-breaking rate of inflation.
There are many factors that triggered the inflationary surge, not the least of which was the devil-may-care progressive spending spree of the Biden administration and the Congress it controls. The numbers don’t lie. In December of 2020, a month before Joe Biden took office, the rate of inflation stood at 1.4%. Since President Biden assumed office in January 2021 the rate of inflation has ticked up to at least 8.5% and climbing, making life difficult for us all but in particular for the fixed income seniors who have no alternative other than to live with it or die. Before the surge a quart of milk cost about 90 cents. The price of that same quart of milk today is more than 20% higher at about $1.09 per quart.
It’s not a matter of conjecture. A new Rasmussen poll shows that a growing number of us put the blame for the increasing cost of living on the president. It was bad enough in December at the end of his first year in office when only 32% of voters gave him an okay, but the newest survey shows that just 27% think he’s doing a good job; 57% give him a poor rating on his handling of the economy.
Younger Americans might get a second job to make ends meet as the cost of living increases. But only a limited number of seniors have that option. For too many of America’s seniors, the cost of living is out of reach. According to a report published by the National Institutes of Health, “Although only 1% of older adults who are independent and healthy are malnourished, the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES) data indicated that 16% of community-dwelling Americans older than 65 years consumed fewer than 1000 calories per day—a statistic that would place these persons at high risk for undernutrition. The nutritional risk increases in the community-dwelling elderly who are sick, poor, homebound, and have limited access to medical care. Malnutrition can become a major concern. The incidence of malnutrition ranges from 12% to 50% among the hospitalized elderly population and from 23% to 60% among institutionalized older adults.”
A major cause of malnutrition among our elders is what is called, food insecurity, a “socioeconomic condition” that limits one’s ability to afford nutritious food, says the United Health Foundation. It includes more than 15 million seniors in the 65-plus category.