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AARP Bulletin

Why Saturdays Without Mail Can Be Risky for Older Adults

For many, the U.S. Postal Service delivers peace of mind

NO MORE SATURDAY MAIL? This August, the U.S. Postal Service will reduce mail delivery from six to five days a week. In the video and accompanying article below, learn the results of an AARP Bulletin poll about how older Americans feel about changes to the postal system.

Is the U.S. Postal Service plan to stop Saturday delivery of first-class mail bad news for older Americans?

Yes, says Pam Donato of the National Association of Letter Carriers — for reasons beyond possible delays in deliveries of mail-order prescription drugs and benefit checks.

Donato, 52, oversees Carrier Alert, a volunteer program operated by NALC and the USPS since 1982. Letter carriers in the program look for anything that might be amiss around homes they serve, such as a pileup of mail, for instance, or no footprints outside a door for days after a snowstorm.

The Carrier Alert program, says Donato, who used to be a Minneapolis letter carrier, is an extension of normal carrier duties and provides peace of mind to many older and homebound people — and to loved ones who may live far away.

"Losing Saturday," she says, "means we are not going to be there two days in a row."

Poll: U.S. Postal Service - Frequency of sending mail and average number of items sent per month, by age.

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