December 14, 2016 2:08 pm
The fourth episode of Stranded by the State, entitled "Seniors" premieres today. A collaboration between In These Times and Kartemquin Films. the series is directed, edited and produced by Kartemquin associate Liz Kaar and explores the human impact of Illinois' budget crisis.
Episode 4: Seniors
Episode 4 of the series examines the effects of the budget crisis on human services in Illinois, with a specific focus on senior services. We meet Jonathan Becker, the Executive Director of Senior Services Plus in Alton, IL. Due to a sharp decrease in funding, the organization's Meals on Wheels program has had to cut delivery of meals from one meal five days a week, to five meals once a week. Many of the seniors the program serves don't have family nearby, therefore a visit from a Senior Services Plus employee is the only social interaction they'll have for a week–as well as the only time that their safety will be confirmed in a week's span. Currently, more seniors are living in poverty than ever before, and seniors are the fastest growing population in the country.
In keeping with the series' theme in demonstrating the impracticality of the budget crisis as well as the human impact, it costs $4 a day to fund one day of meal deliveries–while it costs $150 as a baseline price to fund one day of care at a Medicaid nursing home.