Entries in Seniors (2)


Two More Grandmas Say They Were Strip-Searched at JFK Airport

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Two more elderly women with medical conditions have come forward claiming they were strip-searched by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Nov. 29, bringing to three the number of senior passengers who allege they were forced to remove their clothes at the New York airport last Tuesday.

Ruth Sherman, 88, told ABC News she was about to board a 3:30 p.m. Jet Blue flight to Florida after visiting her family for Thanksgiving when two female TSA officers ordered her into a private room.  The great-grandmother of seven has worn a colostomy bag since undergoing cancer surgery two years ago.  She claims the agents noticed the bulge from the bag and that prompted the additional screening.

According to Sherman, the TSA agents told her to enter the screening room and demanded to know what the bulge was.  Sherman said she was embarrassed and annoyed that even after she explained what it was they asked her to drop her jogging pants and show them.

Linda Kallish, a 66-year-old diabetic, claims she too was strip-searched at JFK on Nov. 29.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, Kallish, who was bound for Ft. Lauderdale via Jet Blue on a 1 p.m. flight, had a glucose monitor that checks her blood sugar every five minutes strapped to one leg and an insulin pump strapped to the other.  A female TSA officer allegedly asked her into a private room after setting off the metal detector.  Kallish says she was ordered to remove her pants in order to demonstrate both devices.

The women's claims come just days after Lenore Zimmerman alleged she was strip searched while trying to catch the 1 p.m. Jet Blue flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

Zimmerman said security whisked her away without explanation after she asked to forgo the full-body scan, fearing it might interfere with the heart defibrillator she was wearing.  She told ABC News that she was asked to pull down her slacks and underwear with no explanation or apology.  She missed her 1 p.m. flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

TSA did not immediately respond to ABC News requests for comments about the incidents.  A TSA blog said that "TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols," and also said that Zimmerman was not strip searched.  The TSA declined to answer a question from the Orlando Sentinel about whether there were instances when passengers were required to remove clothing.

Law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC News that the women were strip-searched by TSA agents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Census Finds Rapid Growth in Senior Population

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Good news for seniors: It’s getting easier to get a date.

That’s one takeaway from a U.S. Census Bureau number crunch on older Americans.  The senior population not only is larger than ever before -- at 40.3 million -- it also includes a larger proportion of men, given their increasing life expectancy.

In 1990 there were only 82.7 men for every 100 women aged 65-plus.  As of 2010, the bureau reported Wednesday, that was up to 90.5 men per 100 women, courtesy of the narrowing differential in mortality rates.

From 2000 to 2010, the bureau reported, the number of older men rose by three million, to 17.4 million, while the number of older women increased by 2.3 million, to 22.9 million.

The senior population overall grew by 15.1 percent compared with the 2000 Census -- a faster growth rate than that of the U.S. population as a whole, at 9.7 percent.  Seniors now account for 13 percent of the total population, their largest share in history, and up from just 4.1 percent in 1900.

Moreover, the bureau advised, there’s a bigger change coming: The leading edge of the baby boom turns 65 this year, portending a major growth in the senior population in years ahead.

Given the size of the boomer generation, it said, “Future growth of the older population is both highly probable and unprecedented in the United States.”

That population growth is likely to have a variety of impacts, including geographic distribution, given the preference of older adults for warmer climes.  Florida continues to have the greatest percentage of population that is senior -- 17.3 percent -- and 14.9 million of the nation’s older adults live in the South, almost six million more than in the next closest region (the Midwest, with nine million).  That said, the region with the fastest growth in its 65-plus population from 2000 to 2010 was the West, up by 23.5 percent.

There were 53,364 centenarians in 2010, up 5.8 percent from 2000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio