• Pete Garfinkel

Now they have to choose…

Too many elderly people face hard choices in their retirement years based on their limited financial means.

Tragically, some end up having to sacrificing on their most basic resource needs which may include their medicines or even food.

Many vulnerable elderly people are reluctant to ask for help and might fear being seen as a burden to family and friends.

This is a complex problem with no easy solutions though there are opportunities to find specific resource assistance in our communities.


State and County based Social Services agencies Senior Centers County Health Departments Community Food Banks

Each community offers a number of potential assistance services which may be a benefit to people in need.

I encourage all people to make contact with your local agencies to learn what resources might be available.

Songs of Substance Project

Before becoming a songwriter I worked as a medical social worker and would visit “homebound” people where they lived to assess needs and provide resource planning assistance.

These experiences have led me to create this project in hope that it would help shed light on issues not often discussed outside of the helping professions.

To listen to the song, “Medicine or Food”

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  • Pete Garfinkel

Pete Garfinkel is a songwriter on the single "I Am Saved" recorded by collaborator Amanda Colleen Williams.

Join me in recognizing all music creators who work #BehindTheRecord, an initiative to #GiveCredit where credit is due! These are the amazing people behind the single I Am Saved, thank you all! Let's celebrate creators who work behind the scenes & bring music credits back. #WeAreMusic @RecordingAcademy

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  • Pete Garfinkel

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

Medicine or Food?

When I was a social worker, I used to make home visits to clients receiving home health care and hospice services.

Many of these folks lived in very rural areas.

Most people were elderly and many were trying to get by on a tight fixed budget.

For some, these fixed budgets weren’t adequate to allow for the additional expenses associated with their illnesses.

This led to very hard choices on how to spend the little money they had.

Common problems

Common issues I saw were:

  • a lack of transportation

  • to see the doctor and to pick up prescriptions,

  • staying current on phone and utility bills,

  • paying for prescriptions and

  • buying groceries.

At times, it seemed like my clients’ adult children were not even fully aware of hard choices their parents endured in their stoic silence.

Our song, “Medicine or Food” shares the story of too many Americans who worked hard, payed their taxes, and played by the rules only to find themselves caught in a financial bind later in life.

If you would like to read more on the subject of “food insecurity” here are a few links:

#socialwork #medicine #hunger #poverty #rural #elderly #prescriptions #healthcare #hospice #senior #

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