Congress Urged to Stop Stalling on Renewal of Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act, legislation that provides critical assistance to millions of elder Americans, turns 50 this year. Renewal of the Act, however, is now 4 years overdue; the last time it was renewed was in 2006, and it expired in 2011. Despite efforts led by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to renew the Act last year, the 113th Congress (the least productive Congress in recent history) neglected to take up the bill, and the process must now start all over again.

Advocates are encouraging the new Congress to quit stalling. This legislation is crucial to the well-being of seniors nationwide, providing funding for programs in all 50 state, geared towards assisting those with the greatest financial and social needs. State programs provide nutrition, family caregiver support, and community service opportunities to this nation's most vulnerable seniors.

In a recent Next Avenue article, industry expert Bob Blancato outlines 6 ways to motivate Congress to take action. These include:

  •  Identify and educate advocates
  • Gather data on the success of the Act
  • Requesting involvement from the Obama Administration
  • Agreement on Priorities
  • Use of social media
  • More involvement from advocates

Inaction could be catastrophic. Organizing the advocates and pressuring our lawmakers may be the only way to get results.

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