NCOA: NCOA Offers 5 Ways Congress Can Help Seniors in 2014

NCOA Media Contact Jean Van Ryzin 

Aging Program Funding, Medicare Low-Income Protections, Senior Hunger Top List

Washington, DC – With close to one-quarter of voters this November expected to be over age 65, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) suggests five ways Congress can help seniors this year—especially those in greatest need.

1. Restore funding for and modernize aging services

The Older Americans Act (OAA) funds critical services that help seniors stay healthy, independent, and economically secure in their own homes. These include programs like senior nutrition, prevention, caregiver support, and transportation.

Senior services are facing a double whammy—funding has not kept up with inflation or the growing population of seniors and the federal budget sequester has caused even deeper cuts.

There is good news in the FY14 budget agreement, which includes new investments to prevent elder falls, increases for Alzheimer’s disease strategies, and restored funding for senior nutrition. But more action is needed. At a minimum, funding for aging services should be returned to pre-sequester levels.

The OAA also is overdue for reauthorization—an opportunity to strengthen the bill for today’s older population. Bipartisan momentum is building to vote on reauthorization this year, including provisions to modernize senior centers, improve access to evidence-based prevention, and reduce elder abuse.

2. Protect low-income Medicare beneficiaries

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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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