Kelly Ayotte, (R- NH) has signed on to sponsor legislation has been introduced in the US Senate that would renew the Older American Act, which was first passed in 1965. This bill reauthorizes programs through 2018 and includes provisions that aim to protect vulnerable elders by strengthening the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program and existing elder abuse screening and prevention efforts. The bill also promotes the delivery of evidence-based programs, such as falls prevention and chronic disease self-management programs. The reauthorization streamlines federal level administration of programs, promotes the efficient and effective use of transportation services, and improves coordination between programs at the federal, state, and local levels.
Some of the provisions of interest of Senate Bill 192 include:
Directs the Assistant Secretary to develop a consumer-friendly tool to assist older individuals and their families when choosing home and community-based services
- Directs the Administration on Aging to include, as appropriate, training for States, area agencies on aging, and service providers on elder abuse prevention and screening
- Allows ombudsmen to serve all residents of long-term care facilities, regardless of age
- Clarifies that ombudsman may continue to serve residents transitioning from a long-term care facility to a home care setting
- Ensures that, in accordance with current practice, disease prevention and health promotion programs are “evidence-based”
- Encourages the delivery of falls prevention and chronic disease self-management programs
The Older Americans Act is required under law to be reauthorized every four years but the law has not been reauthorized by Congress since 2007. Sponsors are Mr. Alexander, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Burr, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Isakson, Ms. Murkowski, Ms. Collins, Mr. Coons, and Mr. Leahy.