Jason Colthorp: How talking to seniors about fixed income helped me appreciate what some go through

When cost goes up in one area, many seniors forced to make sacrifices in another

Jason Colthorp met with local seniors to talk about how they've been affected by the rise in gas prices. (WDIV)

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – One line really stood out to me during my story Tuesday about high gas prices and rising inflation. It came from Bill Maiuri, a senior I spoke to as part of my story.

“I had a woman come here and tell me, ‘Billy, I have a can of soup (to eat all day) -- half in the afternoon and half at night.’ A can of soup. That’s tough. Yeah, you got a choice -- pay for meds or pay for food,” he said.

He’s talking about the tightrope some seniors have to walk while on a fixed income. When things cost more in one area, they have to sacrifice in another.

Another woman told me she often goes to the senior center to eat lunch for $5. It’s partly because the food is good, and also because it’s usually enough food that she can take some home and make it for dinner.

That’s one of those moments that smacks you in the face -- not just as a journalist, but as a person. I get there are plenty of us who count the days until payday every two weeks. Well, for seniors, there is no payday. Paydays are over, and while some might lament having to unsubscribe to satellite radio or Paramount+ because of rising prices, other people are thinking about the next meal.

It makes me want to reach out to the seniors in my life and make sure they have everything they need.

If we take care of each other, we can get through anything.

About the Author:

Jason is Local 4’s utility infielder. In addition to anchoring the morning newscast, he often reports on a variety of stories from the tragic, like the shootings at Michigan State, to the off-beat, like great gas station food.