Older adults need more support from our city leaders. With Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams, I’m hopeful we will get what we—people who have spent our lives investing in New York—deserve.
If you look around you’ll see that people are getting older. Residents over the age of 50 account for nearly a third of the city’s overall population, a number that is expected to increase by 40% in the next 20 years. That’s going to mean a lot more older people with many more needs.
Right now, the Department for the Aging gets only 0.5% of the city budget. We don’t have enough caseworkers to help us with our needs. Our great senior centers, which provide many of us not just with hot meals but also companionship, classes, and career help are struggling to pay the bills. There are not enough homecare services for people no longer able to leave their apartments, and also too few meals that are home delivered.
Most of us spent our entire lives working here, raising families here, supporting local businesses, and paying our taxes. Now we need the city to step up and support us.
A few years ago, AARP New York issued a report that more than half of Baby Boomers like me didn’t think we’d be able to stay in New York City after we retired. And for the Gen X generation, the statistics were even worse—66% of them don’t expect to be able to retire in this city. Now with inflation, it’s becoming harder to make ends meet. I hope we can count on the city to help us.
James O’Neal is the volunteer state president of AARP New York