Older Americans Act to expire in September


By Kay Kaylor
Special to The PREVIEW
As the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County, I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.
The U.S. Senate Aging Committee held a hearing on May 8 titled “The Older Americans Act: Protecting and Supporting Seniors as they Age.” Signed into law in 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) was last approved in 2016 and will expire Sept. 30 unless it is reauthorized. U.S. senators Susan Collins and Bob Casey, Aging Committee chairman and ranking member, held the hearing and are leading a bipartisan coalition working to reauthorize the OAA. Testimony can be heard using the link aging.senate.gov/hearings.
The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and national AAA programs and services are funded and regulated by the OAA, including the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (via 1978 and later amendments), the senior center congregate and home-delivered meals, caregiver support, in-home care and transportation. The act’s goal is to help adults age 60 and older to live with independence and dignity within their homes and communities.
In April, 40 senators wrote a letter asking Senate appropriators to increase federal funding for the OAA by at least 12 percent.
“The Older American’s Act represents our commitment to the generations before us who helped build our country, and it lifts up seniors who need our help now,” Casey said.
For further information, please call me at 403-2164 or send an email to ombudsman2@sjbaaa.org.