Sue Daugherty, Serving Our Seniors' tireless executive director (and my fellow blogger) has some tough-love advice for folks struggling with utility bills.
If you can't afford your bills, try to pay as much of them as you can, Daugherty said.
Daugherty said some elderly people believe that because they are elderly, or if they also have a medical condition, the utilities that supply them with power or gas can't send a cutoff notice. Not true, she warns.
"Your utility will be shut off if you fail to pay," she said.
Paying at least a portion of the bill is important, because social service agencies have limited funds and can't help someone who runs up a huge debt, she said. Serving Our Seniors, for example, pays a maximum of $400 per person.
"We've had people with $1,000 back balances," she said. "We just can't touch that. There's no way we can use that much of our fund to help that one person who has a lack of payment history."