Strategizing how to help seniors brave recession

The people who help senior citizens in Philadelphia held a brainstorming session in North Philadelphia.  Money is tight this year and groups will have to be creative to meet rising demand.

Chris Gallagher is director of the helpline at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.  He says even as social service agencies are struggling to find funds, they are reaching out to seniors.

“There’s many people out there in the community that just aren’t aware or don’t want to ask for help and that’s even a bigger issue because these are thing out there for people so you don’t down the road get into a worse situation you don’t pay your utility then you get shut off and now you get all types of health problems,” Gallagher said.

Richard Klimek  is a social worker with Polish American Social Services who says many seniors don’t take advantage of what they are entitled to.

“They are confused, they are scared and if you introduce a language barrier it compounds the problem,” Klimek said.

Klimek says with the recession, donations are down while need is rising.  He says seniors should speak to trusted sources so they don’t fall victim of a scam.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.