Older adults aged 60 and over
- Older adults aged 60 and over are affected since their retirement plans are often insufficient to cover their needs;
- Healthcare and social services are needed by older adults, who lack the opportunity to access them independently;
- Family caregivers need support, which can be provided through education, resources, and relevant equipment (Congress, 2020);
- There is a need for the national infrastructure that connects care providers and patients, which is the reason for working with local agencies and Native organizations;
- Communities require a patient-centered approach to be committed to older adults, who become vulnerable with age.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) expired in 2019, and it needs to be reauthorized
- The Older Americans Act (OAA) that was initially introduced in 1965 expired in 2019;
- There are 11.3 million older adults who were eligible to the program by 2016 (Center for Responsive Politics, n.d.);
- 23.7 rides to medical facilities and 45.2 million home-delivered meals were organized in 2016 under the OAA, which allowed improving the lives of the target population (Center for Responsive Politics, n.d.);
- H. R. 4334: Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 is critical to ensure proper health care services, nutrition, medication, counseling, et cetera.
Both the House and Senate should pass the bill
- The Dignity with Aging Act 2019 was submitted by the House;
- The Committee on Education and Labor reported to the Senate;
- The Senate passed the bill with changes, and they should be agreed by the House;
- The last stage is the enactment by the President to make the bill a law (House Committee on Education and Labor, n.d.).
The US is responsible for older adults
- The US should be responsible for providing older adult citizens with a high quality assistance to help them in dignity aging, which includes independence and overall well-being;
- Knowledge and skills of caregivers should be directed to this population to make sure they can live the lives they want and stay healthy (National Council on Aging, 2020);
- In addition, the reauthorization of the OAA would create employment opportunities for care givers, social workers, and other persons involved in the program implementation.
If the Act is not reauthorized
- Without the reauthorization of the Act, older adults would face more problems with healthcare and nutrition;
- The rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, falls and injuries, as well as comorbid diseases would increase;
- Additional burden on the healthcare system and growing costs can be expected (National Council on Aging, 2020).
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Aging are responsible for designing the guidelines for the care providers who will work with the target population;
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services publish their recommendations to improve health of older adults and keep them aware of statistics and trends;
- The Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy should be assigned the role of being prepared to emergencies of various types;
- Community-based organizations evaluate the local needs of older adults and implement the recommendations of official organization s in practice;
- The Homes of the Department of Housing and Urban Development are responsible for transportation, nutrition, and other related issues;
- The cooperative work of these organizations is critical to properly allocate the available resources and provide older adults with exactly what they need (Congressional Budget Office, 2019).
H. R. 4334: Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020
- The implementation of this Act will create the opportunity to offer the necessary health care services, medication, nutrition, counseling, and other pertinent services to seniors;
- The expansion of the program is important, and a seven percent increase in funding is requested;
- The reauthorization of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act will contribute to the creation of the nationwide help program for family care givers (Congressional Budget Office, 2019);
- The speed and quality of care will be improved by means of providing timely check-ups and diseases prevention agenda;
- The rate of malnutrition will be reduced due to a focus on how and what seniors eat;
- Continuous monitoring of diseases and their progression will allow adjusting care procedures and techniques accordingly;
- The provision of independence to seniors is the key goal that will promote their sense of dignity and self-esteem, which is critical for their mental health (Bonamici, 2020);
- Social involvement is another benefit of H. R. 4334: Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 as older adults often suffer from loneliness and associated depression;
- The limitation of the proposed Act is related to a lack of sufficient interest of policymakers to extend the programs and link the theory to practice.
Recommendations for Improvements to the Policy
- Attention can be paid to evidence-based care to implemented as it was confirmed empirically;
- Additional advantages of evidence-based strategies include reduced pain and disability, better mental health, and overall increased quality of life;
- Flexibility among the states can be useful to seek for specific services and help that is required in a certain state (for example, advanced equipment or greater family caregiving assistance).
Bonamici, S. (2020). H.R. 4334: Supporting Older Americans Act. Web.
Center for Responsive Politics. (n.d.). Bill profile: H.R.4334. Web.
Congress. (2020). H.R.4334 – Supporting Older Americans Act. Web.
Congressional Budget Office. (2019). H.R. 4334, Dignity in Aging Act. Web.
House Committee on Education and Labor. (n.d.). Dignity in Aging Act (H.R. 4334). Web.
National Council on Aging. (2020). Legislation. Web.