For the past four years, Congress has failed to renew commonsense legislation that helps seniors live with dignity and independence. That’s why AARP is calling on the Senate to end the gridlock and pass the Older Americans Act.
Helping Seniors Live Independently
Since it was enacted into law in 1965, millions of our most vulnerable seniors have relied on the OAA for their health and economic security. The act helps seniors live independently by:
- Supporting nutrition programs, including Meals on Wheels
- Providing home- and community-based services, including preventive health services and transportation assistance
- Assisting family caregivers with information and referral, counseling and respite care
- Preventing and detecting elder abuse
- Providing an important safety net for people who are at risk of entering nursing homes, a costly option at over $91,000 per year for a private room. More than 85 percent of recipients of OAA-funded homemaker services, case management, transportation and home-delivered meals say that this assistance helped them to remain in their home, where the majority of Americans want to live as they age.
OAA’s assistance makes common sense for taxpayers, too: It helps save precious federal and state tax dollars by keeping seniors out of nursing homes and preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions.
A Simple, Bipartisan Solution
The OAA’s current authorization expired in fiscal year 2011, but despite wide bipartisan support for these vital programs, Washington gridlock has prevented Congress from taking action to renew it .
AARP is fighting for a bipartisan, simple reauthorization that would protect and achieve greater effectiveness for funds already dedicated to the act’s core programs.
AARP is calling on the Senate to expedite passage of a simple OAA reauthorization that maintains existing programs without jeopardizing underfunded OAA services for the nation’s seniors.
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