Our seniors need help

Photo of elderly people sitting at a table eating

Washington City Paper

The Department of Employment Services has a training program with age-friendly business. A senior can be trained and given classroom instruction while working part-time for the minimum wage at a senior center, a daycare center, or other types of jobs where there is the possibility to live on-site. After the training period, the senior would apply for work of the same type at their training location.

Seniors now have a free legal clinic at the University of the District of Columbia. Also, nonprofit-care retirement communities, such as Ingleside, are exempt from District of Columbia’s property taxes. Therefore, these places are now more affordable.

There was also a lot of pending legislation introduced in D.C. Council last year with helping seniors in mind.

One bill, introduced in January 2017, would increase the eligibility for property-tax reduction from $125,000 to $150,000 of the gross adjusted household income. This incentive could keep more seniors in their homes.

A dental-service program, introduced in March 2017, would provide dental care for seniors 65 and older whose annual income for their household is $60,000 or less. A two-year program also introduced in March would pilot the donation of unused prescription medication to low-income D.C. residents.

A hearing-aid act, introduced in June, would reimburse seniors who qualify for the expense of a hearing aid. A utility act, also introduced in June, would require utility companies to give a 30-day notice to the managing agency before they could shut off services at a community facility. The agency would have to be listed by the facility as a third-party contact for the utility company.

An elder-abuse law, introduced in September, would educate residents about the dangers and prevalence of abuse of seniors.

These many bills show how much seniors have to worry about and what our city may be able to do for them.

Issues |Senior Citizens

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