It’s (Past) Time to Reauthorize the Older Americans Act
Chances are if you, or anyone in your family, is 65 or older your life has been impacted by an Older Americans Act program. From Meals on Wheels to senior centers, prevention of physical and financial abuse, computer training to legal assistance, OAA programs touch the lives of millions of seniors and their families. This myriad of programs provides home and community-based services making it possible for older adults to remain independent, but they’ve continually faced flat or shrinking budgets at a time of growing needs. Funding programs that allow seniors to age in place is cost-effective; however, Congress has not reauthorized these programs since 2010.
“S. 192 builds on the core programs of the Older Americans Act (OAA) – including congregate and home-delivered meals, help for family caregivers, transportation and senior center services – which enable older adults to remain as independent as possible. We support provisions in S. 192 that protect against elder abuse and strengthen long-term care ombudsman services, as well as programs such as fall prevention and chronic disease self-management that promote healthy living. OAA services help seniors avoid hospitalizations and nursing home care, and, as a result, save federal and state funds that otherwise would be spent on such care. In addition to reauthorizing OAA programs, increasing OAA funding is crucial to meet the growing needs of seniors and to compensate for the lack of adequate funding over past years, a funding shortfall that was aggravated by the sequester.”
We’ve created a video to introduce Members of Congress to the real-life impact their decisions have on average American seniors.