Even those born during the depression are finding this economy’s downturn hard to bear. According to an article in the Associated Press the elderly are succumbing to bankruptcies as they face a rapidly rising cost of living.The AP says: “Older Americans are hit by a one-two punch of jobs and medical problems and the two are often intertwined,” said Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor who was one of the authors of the study. “They discover that they must work to keep some form of economic balance and when they can’t, they’re lost.”
That’s precisely what happened to Noda. She worked all her life, on a hospital’s housekeeping staff, and later selling boat tickets to tourists. She cut corners when she needed to but always paid the bills she neatly logged in a ledger.
“I was born during the Depression,” she said. “I paid the bills whether I ate or didn’t, whether I went to the doctor or not.”
It all worked fine for Noda, a widow for 23 years, until she was forced to undergo double-bypass surgery and deal with respiratory problems. She started using two credit cards more frequently for food and bills. Before long, she was $8,000 in debt and behind on car payments.
Noda is not alone. According to Consumer Bankruptcy Project people over 65 years old are more than twice as likely to file for bankruptcy. But unfortunately because of their values and upbringing many seniors attempt to battle mounting debt even after it’s clear that doing so will jeopardize their well being as noted by Noda who would rather not eat than allow a bill to go unpaid. It is so important for us to remind ourselves that bankruptcy is here to help those who need debt relief. And when you must choose between eating and paying your bills, then that debt relief is desperately needed.

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