(The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: (Bifocal, Vol. 36, Issue 5).)
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2015 — The American Bar Association commends the bipartisan reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), which was introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., with Senators Richard Burr, R-N.C., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the OAA.
For more than 30 years, the ABA has been a strong advocate on issues that help Americans age with dignity, security and quality of life. The OAA authorizes and oversees many vital programs and services, and it provides critical legal assistance to protect the rights of vulnerable seniors.
Reauthorization of the OAA reaffirms and refines our country’s commitment to a safe, secure and dignified life for all older Americans, and the ABA urges the House to pass this legislation swiftly.
The legislation reflects more than three years of bipartisan work reflected in a balanced, pragmatic approach to helping older Americans live longer with independence and dignity in their homes and communities.
Since it was enacted into law in 1965, millions of our most vulnerable older Americans have relied on the services provided by the OAA for their health and economic security. These services include:
- 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; and
- Providing part-time community service employment and training. ■