Building support for the Older Americans Act was AARP’s number one legislative priority from 1961 to 1965 - and was AARP’s first major successful grassroots advocacy campaign. Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, the founder of AARP, was the campaign’s leader.
The Older Americans Act was designed to help older people maintain maximum independence in their homes and communities and to promote a continuum of care for the vulnerable elderly. The act established the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) and facilitated creation of State and Area Agencies on Aging to address the social service needs of older people at the community level.
Since 1965, millions of our most vulnerable seniors have relied on the Older Americans Act for their health and economic security. The act helps seniors live independently by:
Fast forward to 2021, and AARP again waged a successful advocacy campaign to increase federal funding to the Older Americans Act for home and community-based services – to ensure the needs of older adults and people with disabilities can be met during the pandemic.
The recently enacted American Rescue Plan provides $1.434 billion in funding for programs authorized under Older Americans Act (OAA), including $750 million for the OAA Nutrition Services Program; $25 million for Native American services; $460 million to support home-and community-based support services programs, including support for COVID-19 vaccination outreach and addressing social isolation; $44 million for evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention; $145 million for the National Family Caregiver Support Program; and $10 million for the long-term care ombudsman program.
West Virginia can claim additional federal funds for:
This story is provided by AARP West Virginia. Visit the AARP West Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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