Can the Older Americans Act Improve the Way We Age?

On January 10, 2014, the Older Americans Reauthorization of 2014 (H.R. 2850) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) along with cosponsors Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).

Without the bill, many programs that seniors currently rely on could face cuts to funding and support, even as more and more of the population ages. This bill becomes increasingly important because every day 10,000 Americans turn 65.

One of our members, the AARP, recently called for a simple reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, and voiced their support for H.R. 2850.

But to meet the needs of today’s older Americans, we hope the bill will allow for:

  • Aging in Place: Whether at home, around family, or in their community, seniors should have the ability to choose where they age, and their choice should not be limited by where they are able to access the resources or programs they need. The bill should include flexibility for each community to choose when and how it meets the needs of its population.
  • Affordable Housing: Independent seniors should have the ability to live in smaller, more accessible, and affordable housing in their communities. Small renovations of current living situations could allow more seniors to live independently for longer.
  • Transportation: Seniors should be able to rely on dependent and quality transportation that helps them stay connected to their communities, and to allow them the ability to meet their own needs when they want to.
  • Better job training: Increase support for retired seniors to access job training programs for new and fulfilling part-time work that allows them to stay connected and support their community, and to have more opportunities for financial security
  • Increased support for family and caregivers: Increased support would allow seniors to receive quality care from who they want, and where they want it, including outside of institutions, and in the privacy of homes.

Track the bill with us by subscribing to our blog, and support the bill by letting your representative know that you support bill H.R. 3850!

  1. Image courtesy of Ian MacKenzie. View his work here.
  2. Read the Assembly’s recommendations for changing aging policy here.

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