Impact of the Older Americans Act

A few months ago, after nearly a decade in progress, the Older Americans Act finally passed by Congress, for a three-year term. The delay has been very stressful for the elderly community, and, when looking at what the revisions do, it is easy to see why.

The gist of it is that the elderly will be able to stay at home and in the community as they will be privy to services they need for their independence. In addition it is good news for Medicaid and Medicare which will ultimately save millions of dollars annually. Basically there has been an authorization to increase funding levels by 6 percent over the next three years. There will be an increase in funds to the states that have an escalation in the 60+ age bracket in their population. It will feed the elderly who cannot afford food, now including more local fresh produce and enable nutritionists to work with them.

The renewed law requires enhanced training of elder abuse screening and prevention for employees in the industry and allow for long-term care ombudsmen to help all those living in long-term care facilities, irrespective of their age. It is anticipated that this will provide for improved social and educational settings for senior American citizens.

Family caregivers will benefit too, being able to participate in the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Given that the modification of the law requests enriched coordination between Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Area Agencies on Aging and other such community-based organizations, the aging population will have better access to resources available over to them.

The last part of the bill is set out to serve Holocaust survivors better by insisting the guidance from federal government for the states to put this into practice.