Protect and Strengthen the Older Americans Act
Seniors need help. Please support them.—Robin, Seattle, WA
Robin’s plea strikes at the heart of the One Away campaign. Seniors do need help, but how can we support them?
In the last six months, One Away has collected thousands of stories of struggle. These poignant stories have offered glimpses into the lives of millions of older adults who cannot afford to pay for their basic housing, health, food, and other needs:
- We are having trouble eating because of all the price increases.—Ernest, Toledo, OH
- I am retired and my wife lost her job in January. Finding another seems to be almost impossible and so we are struggling to keep ahead.—Irving, Milton, VT
- My 86-year-old aunt is the primary caregiver for my 93-year-old mom. They have both spent the little savings they had…It would be nice if my aunt could get paid something for her caregiving, since she's saving the state the money it would cost for my Mom to go into a nursing home. —Susan, Spokane, WA
These stories show the magnitude of seniors’ economic struggles, and how it affects us all.
Why the OAA matters
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is a key vehicle to provide support that keep older adults healthy, independent, and engaged in their communities. Since 1965, the OAA has funded programs and services such as:
- Nutritious meals, so Ernest does not go hungry.
- Job training and employment programs that enable Irving’s wife to seek paid work via the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
- Family caregiver support, so Susan’s aunt can receive assistance in caring for her sister at home.
The OAA also supports our economy. By keeping seniors out of nursing homes, preventing malnutrition, and helping them manage chronic health conditions, OAA services save taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
Now we need your help (again!)
Thanks to your advocacy, the current fiscal year (2012) proposed funding for the OAA has remained largely intact. But we aren’t finished yet!
This fall—as future OAA funding and reauthorization are debated by Congress—there are opportunities to protect and strengthen the Act and make it work better for older Americans in need. To do so, we need citizens and organizations to raise their voices and urge members of Congress to publicly show their support for the OAA.