Sanders visits with Waterbury seniors to discuss Older Americans Act

By: WCAX News Team; WCAX

WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) – Some Vermont seniors are sharing their fears about the cost of health care.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke with seniors and employees at the Waterbury Area Senior Center on Thursday about the hardships they face.

Sanders says money from the Older Americans Act has not scaled to inflation, including the high cost of prescription drugs, the underfinanced Meals on Wheels program, and a lack of transportation to get to appointments and avoid isolation.

Seniors at the meeting expressed concerns about feelings of depression and anxiety. But most pressing seems to be a lack of in-house health care and assisted living homes.

Mary Alice Bisbee, a Montpelier social worker, says a rise in inaccessibility has shocked her. “Now, 25 years later, I’m doing it for myself, and I’m just appalled,” she said.

The OAA was last reauthorized in 2020 and will expire at the end of September.