Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

This month, we are asked to place comments on the weengAGE portal for the Master Plan for Aging.  We can insert comments and receive updates through the link below.  We can also share the link with our networks.  Please, if you have time, complete and share the Master Plan on Aging Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MPAPledge

Congress is at recess, as is the State Legislature and we won’t hear from either until after the new year.  In the meantime here are just a few tidbits:  The following bills were introduced just after Congress returned from their previous break and were written to enhance the Older Americans Act of 1965.  Although AARP has not had a chance to weigh in on these, they would be interesting to follow.

Representative David Trone (D-MD) introduced H.R. 4859, Protecting Older Americans From Social Isolation Act of 2019 on 10/24/2019, which, when passed, will set up an advisory committee to determine and develop objectives, priorities, and a long-term plan for supporting State and local efforts involving education about, prevention of, detection of, and response to negative health effects associated with social isolation among older individuals.

Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) introduced H.R. 4827, the Building Age-Friendly Communities Act on 10/23/2019. This would support the ability of older individuals to age in place, including through the provision of homelessness prevention services, support the ability of older individuals to access preventive health care, promote age-friendly communities, and address the ability of older individuals to access long-term care support, including access to caregivers and home- and community-based services.

Back in September Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019, a very lengthy and thorough bill, that establishes, reauthorizes, and revises several programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor relating to care for the elderly.

Among other things, the bill reauthorizes through FY2024, and revises, programs that support:

  • caregivers of the elderly; community and workforce training regarding elder care;
  • informational services, such as pension counseling;
  • nutritional services, such as meal delivery;
  • disease prevention and health promotion services; and abuse and neglect prevention services.

The bill also establishes several entities and programs to further support elder care, including initiatives that aim to promote independent living and reduce social isolation for the elderly.  This bill passed the House on October 30. Now it’s in the Senate…..after the winter break! 

                                                                           Happy Holidays, everyone!