Older Americans Act Reauthorization

smiling elderly woman

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2014 was introduced on February 28th, 2014. It reauthorizes the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) and funding for its programs for FY2014-FY2018.

The Older Americans Act (OAA) funds critical services that keep older adults healthy and independent—services like meals, job training, senior centers, caregiver support, transportation, health promotion, benefits enrollment, and more.

The Act is overdue for reauthorization—and we should urge Congress to seize this opportunity to update and renew its commitment to these programs and those they serve.

The reauthorization language makes it an objective of such Act the acquiring for older individuals of high-quality services in a manner that is culturally and linguistically responsive to such individuals and family caregivers.

Includes older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals within the purview of such Act and specifically among certain reporting requirements.

Requires the Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (in the Administration on Aging [AOA] of the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]) to collect, analyze, and report on best practices related to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in long-term care facilities.

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Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging of the AOA to:

(1) focus on the health and economic needs and welfare of older individuals;

(2) conduct studies and collect data to determine the services that are needed by LGBT older individuals;

(3) ensure that authorized programs include appropriate training in the prevention of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and provision of services that address elder justice and the exploitation of older individuals; and

(4) establish and operate a National Resource Center for Women and Retirement, a National Adult Protective Services Resource Center, and a National Resource Center on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Aging.

Establishes an Advisory Committee to Assess, Coordinate, and Improve Legal Assistance Activities to study the legal services activities assistance system for older individuals.

grandma having bday

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2014-FY2018, and revises requirements for, the AOA, the Eldercare Locator Service, pension counseling and information programs, supportive services, congregate nutrition services, disease prevention and health promotion services, family caregiver support, the nutrition services incentive program, the Community Service Senior Opportunity Act, grants for Native Americans.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award a grant to or enter into a cooperative agreement with a public or private nonprofit entity to establish a National Resource Center on Family Caregiving.

Directs the Assistant Secretary to award grants and enter into contracts with eligible entities to carry out projects to:

(1) support and promote modern multipurpose senior center models;

(2) build an evidence base of modern, replicable practices that allow senior centers to serve a diverse array of older individuals, as well as their families and other caregivers; and

(3) mobilize services and leverage resources to support the role of multipurpose senior centers as community focal points, and for the establishment, construction, maintenance, and operation of centers.

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Directs the Assistant Secretary to make a grant on a competitive basis to enable an eligible nonprofit organization to provide training and technical assistance to grant recipients.

Revises requirements for the national family caregiver support program and the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, revising conflict-of-interest requirements and prohibitions for the latter.

Requires health programs for older individuals to cover behavioral health.

Directs the Comptroller General to study the transportation services for older individuals.

Directs the Assistant Secretary to issue guidance to applicable to states, area agencies on aging, and providers of services for older individuals, with respect to serving Holocaust survivors.

Source(s): http://www.gov.tracker.com; http://www.ncoa.org

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

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