The Senior War between food and prescriptions
Healthcare in America, for it to be for the benefit of the people it surely is hard for the people it's supposed to be benefiting to get it. Nonetheless once they are able to pay for their medicine that is needed to help them fulfill their life, they now have a new problem at hand, they have no means of food to take it with because most of their money went towards their prescriptions.
This is an endless problem in America that our elders usually have to make the choice of essentially life or death. Without the medicine they could get sick, and their functions could start to slow or shut down but on the other hand without food the same thing will happen. And since they aren’t as young as it used to be their body needs these essential nutrients of which they aren't receiving. These are the same people that when we were kids made sure we finished our plate because they didn't want to have to think about what if we hadn't eaten all day or if we were to go hungry later, now they sit here in our place. The problem? We are unaware or unabsorbent of the fact that they aren't eating properly if at all.
It's things like overpriced medicine and paying for health bills that may lead some to actually sell some of their medicine for some food, does this sound similar to anything else? In the selling of these it is in the hopes to be able to buy a little bit of food that they may ration in into even smaller bits as to save it for longer but eventually the food runs dry again and they are in need of more food. All they have at the time is an empty belly, a new bottle of their medicine and hope things will get better, so what's a few missing pills they know they can restock on later on. This is the problem, I'm sure most of us cannot imagine our grandmother or father doing such things but others have had to and at this point it's a survival of the fittest in their world when it comes to this.
According to an Article by Senior Care Buy Critical Medications or Food – Too Many Seniors Have to Choose, it states “A new study has revealed that many older adults with chronic diseases are not taking their medications as prescribed. They may be eliminating dosages, skipping certain pills or not filling prescriptions in order to pay for other things like food.” This is openly proving my point that seniors are skipping pills and sausages to be able to spare themselves some food, below is an survey from the same article showing some results of prescriptions and food.
· 23% of participants reported that they had trouble paying for their medications
· 19% of those surveyed reported be unable to put sufficient food on the table
· 11% said they had both problems
· Many reported lack of adequate insurance coverage
· Many in this population were not eligible for assistance
This survey shows how for most people the choice between paying for medication is hard enough because of the high prices and the stakes at which they have to go to to just get the medication, then how they have to put themselves at risk and pass up their medicine just to have some bread and butter. Something else from the article is "Too many doctors don’t ask their older patients (or any patient) if they can afford the pills they prescribe.” This also shows how it's not just the fact that the prices are too high but also that doctors aren’t fully indulging in their clients’ finances and asking them if this is too much and if they are able to portion off some money without taking out another resource.
Now if you’re wondering why don't they just tell someone or go ask their family or others for help with their payments. It’s a matter of pride and still holding up their image. If you weren’t able to buy food, how would you feel asking for help? Just remember to reach out to older people in your family and your community, check on them. You never know if they're on their last piece of bread or struggling to get more.
Until next time, Niah (They/She)