National Alliance for Caregiving Applauds the House for Reauthorizing the Older Americans Act (OAA)

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A bipartisan bill that vitally improves programs that help aging Americans and family caregivers live independently and with dignity

On March 11th, after nearly a year of bipartisan negotiations, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the reauthorization of the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 (H.R. 4334).

Since 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) has been the primary and essential vehicle to developing, coordinating, and delivering home and community-based services that help vulnerable older adults with dignity. The OAA has a broad and critical mission, it provides a range of services and supports that help older Americans remain as independent and productive as possible in their own homes and communities. This passage reauthorizes the federal Older Americans Act (OAA) through FY 2024, the bill is now expected to be signed into law by the President shortly.

Upon the reauthorization, C. Grace Whiting, J.D., President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving stated, "We're thankful for the bipartisan efforts to prioritize the needs of older adults and the people who care for them through this reauthorization, despite political polarization, Congressional leaders from across various backgrounds recognize that caregiving is a part of our day to day life that will only become more important as America ages."

“The reauthorization of the Older Americans Act is a strong demonstration that leaders in the Congress are increasingly prioritizing family caregivers on the federal level,” said Mike Wittke, Director of Advocacy at the National Alliance for Caregiving. “Language in this bill strengthens caregiver assessments, extends the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, and provides for technical assistance funding. The time is now to build on this momentum and continue to strengthen support for America’s caregivers.”

In addition to home-and-community based services, the services in OAA also include nutritional programs; health promotion and disease prevention activities for seniors; and programs that protect vulnerable seniors, such as the long-term care ombudsman program.

About the National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focusing on advancing family caregiving through research, innovation, and advocacy. The Alliance conducts research, does policy analysis, develops national best-practice programs, and works to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Recognizing that family caregivers provide important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well-being of those they care for, the Alliance supports a network of more than 80 state and local caregiving coalitions and serves as Secretariat for the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO). Learn more at http://www.caregiving.org.

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C. Grace Whiting
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