Famous gossip queen and senior care advocate Rona Barrett drew eyeballs at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday when she showed up to advocate for elders during a hearing about the lack of transportation and nutrition for Santa Barbara’s aging population. Forty percent of the 61,700 estimated seniors in the county earn less than $28,000 each year, and 6 percent are below the federal poverty line. One in four seniors use meal supports. Last year, seniors accounted for nearly half of ambulance transfers. The county has just one public nurse, who serves 56 seniors per month, according to county staff. Supervisor Salud Carbajal called for all players to come together to create a strategic plan to better help seniors in need.


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