Hartzler Supports Dignity in Aging Act of 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) released the following statement after supporting H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act:
“As a granddaughter who was close to my grandparents growing up and someone who has worked with senior citizens my entire life, I have a special place in my heart and the utmost respect for those who have led the way in our country for so long. Many of them have served this nation, sacrificed for future generations, and put their life on the lines for our freedoms. We owe it to them and future seniors to ensure the strength and solvency of those programs they need and rely on,” Hartzler said.
“This important legislation builds on the Older Americans Act (OAA), increasing seniors’ access to food, transportation, and services they need to live independently, including caregivers and programs to counter social isolation,” Hartzler added.
OAA currently aids 11 million Americans age 60 and over every year. It funds a wide range of popular programs and services that millions of seniors rely upon every day, including Meals on Wheels, transportation services, and part-time job opportunities to support financial security and combat social isolation. For many older individuals, OAA programs are vital to their health, wellbeing, and independence. However, as the population of Americans age 60 and over has grown, funding for OAA is not keeping pace. In 2010, OAA funding was $42.95 per senior in today’s dollars. Today it is $27.25 per senior.
The Dignity in Aging Act bolsters these assistance programs for our seniors around 7 core areas:
- Increase funding levels for OAA.
- Support caregivers by reauthorizing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act.
- Create solutions for social isolation of our seniors, which often contributes to stroke, dementia, and premature death.
- Establish more tools for research and evaluation of these programs within the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Improve economic opportunity by promoting civic engagement activities.
- Harmonize coordination among exiting resource centers.
- Assist seniors with home accommodations, including fall prevention and home assessments.