Congress Passes Reauthorization of Older Americans Act

April 12, 2016

Congress has passed the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA).

"On behalf of older adults and those of us hoping to grow old, I am extremely grateful," said Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for Aging. "Older adults consistently express their personal desire to age in their homes and communities, surrounded by the people, places and activities that give their lives meaning. For more than 50 years the OAA has provided support to make that dream a reality; from home-delivered meals and exercise classes to legal services and case management. In every setting and through every advancing year, OAA services support health, dignity and independence."

Kathy Greenlee

The country is growing old, she noted. By 2020 the older adult population will number more than 77 million. One in every five people will be over the age of 60, and more than 34 million adult caregivers will provide uncompensated care to older adults.

"These numbers will continue to grow," Greenlee said. "The programs authorized by the Older Americans Act have never been more important to individuals, to families, and to communities. The reauthorization of the OAA signals our commitment to the health and well-being of those of us aged and aging in America. The reauthorization is also a testament to the value of old age itself."

She concluded, "I applaud the dedicated work of the national aging services network of states, tribes, area agencies on aging, long-term care ombudsmen, local services providers and volunteers who make successful aging possible. Their work with and on behalf of older adults and family caregivers makes a difference in millions of people’s lives each and every day."

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