National Senior Citizens Law Center Honors Estes

By Phoebe Byers

Women 65 and older are almost twice as likely as men in the same age group to live in poverty. Low wage jobs, lifelong lower earnings, divorce, and their role as family caregivers are all part of the stories of individual women living in poverty.  On the evening of Oct. 17, the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) shared stories about the lives of women struggling to age with dignity during its annual fall reception at The National Press Club.

Also that evening, NSCLC honored UC San Francisco School of Nursing’s Carroll Estes, PhD, with the organization’s Second Annual Paul Nathanson Distinguished Advocacy Award for her work on aging and elder women’s economic and health security.

Carroll Estes, PhD

“I am honored to receive this recognition from NSCLC for my work on behalf of senior women,” Estes said. “Older women are the backbone of American life and families. Yet climbing mortality rates and chronic economic insecurity are growing problems, especially among low income women and women of color. These are the groups who require NSCLC’s pioneering and persistent leadership more than ever.”

Estes is professor emerita in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and founder and former director of Institute for Health & Aging at the UCSF School of Nursing.  Her research on Social Security and Medicare policy, health reform, long term care, and elder women's economic and health security has been essential reading for NSCLC lawyers and others in the field of aging and health.

“We are proud to honor Carroll with this award,” said Kevin Prindiville, executive director of the National Senior Citizens Law Center. “Carroll’s research on social security, Medicare, health reform, long term care, and gender disparities, in addition to her strategic approach to partnership and advocacy, has impacted the lives of millions of older adults.”

This annual event is a venue for NSCLC partners, advocates, and donors to connect and celebrate our collective work in this field and inspire each other in our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and economic security of our nation’s low-income senior citizens.

Estes has authored and co-authored eight books including: “The Aging Enterprise” (1979), “Social Policy and Aging” (2001), “Social Theory, Social Policy and Ageing” (2003), and co-authored “Social Insurance and Social Justice”(2009).  Her book, “Long Term Care Crisis,” was named one of the nation's “Most Important Books” (Choice Magazine, 1994).  The edited volumes, “The Nation's Health” (7th ed., 2005) with Philip Lee and “Health Policy” (6th ed., 2013) with Charlene Harrington, have been adopted in 400 schools of medicine and nursing.

The National Senior Citizens Law Center is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to protect the rights of low-income older adults. Through advocacy, litigation, and the education of local advocates, we seek to ensure the health and economic security of those with limited income and resources, and to preserve their access to the courts. For more information, visit NSCLC’s website.

For more internal-facing stories from the UCSF community, please visit Pulse of UCSF.