Altarum Institute: Older Americans Summit: No Time Like the Present!

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

The mood in the Senate hearing room where an “Older Americans Summit” was being held on the eve of Memorial Day weekend was both hopeful and defiant as Edwin Walker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging of the Administration for Community Living, stood to speak to a packed gathering of advocates, seniors, and lawmakers. They were there to discuss the Older Americans Act of 1965, and why reauthorizing the law to meet the challenges of a quickly graying society is a key part of the health care policy puzzle.

“The Older Americans Act is really the country’s infrastructure for low-cost home and community-based services,” Walker said.  For nearly five decades, this modestly funded infrastructure, composed of locally based programs, has delivered basic assistance to millions of seniors living at home on low, fixed incomes. The most widely known are Meals on Wheels, subsidized transportation for those who cannot drive, counseling and respite services for family caregivers, and legal representation for those who cannot speak for themselves. Across the country, more than 600 local Area Agencies on Aging and Aging Disability Resource Centers, 20,000 local services providers, and more than 200 tribal services providers support elders through these programs.

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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