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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Older American Act

by Deah on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:08 AM

Since this is Older Americans Month, I looked into the Older American Act (OAA) and found the many functions of the OAA very interesting. I thought I would share a few key points with you. What I found disturbing was the OAA has unfortunately lost ground reaching those in need of services.

Congress originally passed the OAA in 1965 in response to concern regarding the lack of social services for older adults. This act established the Administration on Aging (AoA) to oversee the newly created grant programs and to serve as overseer of programs for older Americans. The OAA is looked at as a safety net, helping older people live a more independent life by catching the gaps left by the Social Security Administration and Medicare.

In a recent article published by the AARP the changing demographics of the 60-plus population is growing faster than supporting organization can keep up. Funding for the act has only gone up 1.1 percent annually, on average, since 2001 and more resources are very much needed.

What does the OAA do for older Americans? The intent of the OAA is to help older adults in keeping their dignity while still living within their communities by providing services and support that would enable them to remain independent and productive citizens. The act funds critical services that are also designed to keep older Americans healthy, such as ensuring retirement income, providing physical and mental health services, creating suitable housing and employment, protection from age-based discrimination, and supporting family caregivers. One of the most common services is the Meals on Wheels program. Another well used program is the transportation to and from appointments. These services help seniors avoid hospitalization and nursing home admissions, saving state and federal funds that would otherwise be spent on such care.

Each state establishes its own eligibility criteria for receiving services under OAA programs. To find out what your state and community offers, contact your local state Area Agency on Aging (AAA). If you need to find the nearest agency in your area visit the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging website

Author
Deah

Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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