Danbury senior citizens had the opportunity to directly communicate their needs and opinions to United States Senator Richard Blumenthal on his recent visit to the Palace View Senior Housing development in Danbury.  Arrangements to host the event were made by Danbury City Council member Thomas Saadi and Danbury Housing Partnership Chair Mark J. Nolan, who also had the chance to participate in the discussion and update Senator Blumenthal on housing efforts in the Danbury region.  Director Susan Tomanio of the Danbury Department of Elderly Services also participated in the event.

“This was a wonderful chance for senior citizens in our community to communicate their views on a one-to-one basis with Senator Blumenthal as well as to hear about the status of programs for seniors at the Federal level,” stated Nolan.

Major concerns expressed by Danbury seniors included the stability of Social Security, Medicare and the social service needs of seniors.  Mr. Nolan discussed the housing needs of seniors and the issue of the rising rental costs of senior rental housing developments such as Palace View.  Mr. Nolan noted that seniors were facing extreme financial pressures as the result of the economic recession.  Seniors have not received Social Security cost of living increases for two years while the retirement investments of seniors had been hit by the stock market decline of 2008.  Investment income of seniors has been further strained by the low-interest policies of the Federal Reserve, which has kept returns from fixed income investments favored by retirees at meager levels.  At the same time, energy and other costs have been rising- placing a strain not only on seniors but also on the viability of housing developments for seniors that operate on slim margins. 

Senator Blumenthal updated the seniors present on Federal initiatives to benefit seniors and expressed his support for maintaining the financial soundness of Social Security and Medicare as basic elements of the safety net for seniors.   It was also noted that the financial crisis had disrupted multiple generations, such that seniors were not only facing their own financial needs but also sometimes unexpectedly supporting older offspring with social and medical needs. 

For more information about the Danbury Housing Partnership, please call Chairman Mark J. Nolan at 203-797-8255 or visit www.danburyhousingpartnership.org.

For more information about the Danbury Department of Elderly Services please call Director Susan Tomanio at 203-797-4686 or visit www.ci.danbury.ct.us.