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Navigating Inflation: Carol and Evie Hinderliter survive on a fixed income in Tyrone, while helping other seniors

Carol Hinderliter, 60, of Tyrone, and her mother Evie.
Alicia Chiang
News Lab at Penn State
Carol Hinderliter and her mother, Evie, both of Tyrone, greet a friend who comes in the door of Northern Blair Senior Center, Tyrone, Pa. Hinderliter says she wants local seniors to take more advantage of their free resources, such as attending community gatherings at Northern Blair Senior Center.

Six generations of Hinderliters have been born, lived, and gone in the town of Tyrone.

Carol Hinderliter, 60, and her mother Evie Hinderliter, 87, live in a farmhouse that has been in their family for over a century. Carol grew up in the south, but spent her summers in the house, which belonged to her grandparents at the time. She is no stranger to the town where everybody knows everybody.

“I liked being on the farm rather than the city,” Carol said. “If I could spend two weeks with my grandparents, I did.”

This was before I-99 detoured traffic that once drove through Tyrone, between Altoona and State College. Tyrone was busier. Stores like Morris Levine Family Shoe Store and Sears occupied prominent buildings. And the Opera House had yet to be razed.

Carol has been a full-time resident of Tyrone for 22 years.

She spends most of her days volunteering in Tyrone’s Northern Blair Senior Center. Free meals and air-conditioning, that’s the draw for many seniors, Carol said. But there’s also chair yoga, strength and tone classes, and a van that transports people to appointments.

A senior citizen herself, Carol is also now her mother's sole caregiver.

She retired much earlier than she expected. An injury to her leg caused her to give up work and her pension.

Both mom and daughter are now on fixed incomes.

Carol sees seniors and others choosing between nutritious meals and buying medication. And she sees the cycle of poor food choices leading to the need for more medication to make-up for the poor nutrition.

Carol has experienced this herself.

“Most people are below the poverty level when you are one person relying on social security,” Carol said. “This is not a reliable income.”

Read the rest of the profiles of Tyrone area residents Navigating Inflation.

Valeria Quiñones is a student reporter with the News Lab at Penn State.
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