Supporting Our Senior Citizens: 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act


For a long time, America has recognized the important contributions its elderly citizens make to the nation, society, and the economy, which is how we come to celebrate in 2015 the 50th anniversary of one of the most important pieces of social legislation the nation has ever created – the Older Americans Act of 1965. Half a century ago, the country’s leaders already recognized the nation’s obligation to the growing numbers of older Americans, so it was that on July 14, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Older Americans Act (OAA). The OAA was detailed in laying out the specific goals for maintaining the welfare and lifestyles of older citizens and created the primary vehicle for organizing, coordinating, and providing community-based services and opportunities for older Americans and their families. The legislation also called for the creation of a central organization to carry out the instructions of the act, which came to be known as the Administration on Aging (AOA) – the lead national agency tasked to implement the OAA. The AOA is an agency of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Aside from providing services and programs to help the elderly live independently in their homes and communities, the OAA also empowers the federal government to distribute funds to the states for supportive services for individuals over the age of 60. This is done through an extensive network of organizations including more than 50 state agencies on aging, 600+ area agencies, approximately 20,000 service providers, and 244 tribal groups.

To mark this important milestone, recognized commemorative publisher Faircount will be releasing a very special, high-quality publication entitled Supporting Our Senior Citizens: 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act for extensive distribution to leaders, educators, and managers within the medical and scientific institutions, public health agencies, service providers, and nongovernmental organizations that are part of the support community for aging and disabled citizens.

INTERVIEWS WITH: • Kathy Greenlee, Current Assistant Secretary of Aging • Fernando Torres-Gil, first Assistant Secretary of Aging • Dean Jeanette Takamura, second Assistant Secretary of Aging • Josefina Carbonell, third Assistant Secretary of Aging

History of OAA • Amendments over the years • New three-year reauthorization of OAA for anniversary year – Create new support for modernizing multipurpose senior centers – Highlight the importance of addressing economic needs – Require that health promotion and disease prevention initiatives be evidence-based – Promote chronic disease self-management and falls prevention • Presidential Budget 2016. Steps planned to support and create opportunity for older Americans, including: protecting Social Security and Medicare for future generations; expanding the earned income tax credit for older workers; protecting worker pensions; and providing housing for the elderly • We look at the 7 areas where the grants go: – Supportive Services – Congregate (community served) Meals – Home Delivered Meals – Preventive Health – National Family Caregiver’s Support Program – Elder Abuse Prevention – Ombudsman

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