On October 28, the House of Representatives passed the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019 (H.R. 4334), which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act (OAA) – key legislation governing the organization and delivery of critical services for senior citizens throughout the nation.
H.R. 4334 promotes seniors’ ability to live independently in their homes by supplying Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) the necessary funds and resources to effectively serve one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. OAA’s elder care strategy includes comprehensive programs to deliver meals at senior centers, schools and churches. It also includes care to prevent abuse and exploitation of seniors, provides family caregiver support systems and offers community service employment opportunities.
Specifically, the Dignity in Aging Act eliminates the arbitrary cap on the percentage of funding AAAs can use to provide services to older caregivers raising younger relatives. These provisions will be especially beneficial for Kentuckians where, in the midst of the opioid crisis, many older relatives have taken on the responsibilities of raising children whose parents are not present or are unable to take care of them.
“As the lead Republican on this legislation and the lead Republican on the Education and Labor subcommittee of jurisdiction, it has been a privilege to work on this important, bipartisan legislation on behalf of our nation’s seniors. The increased funding authorized through this bill will aid Kentucky’s Area Development Districts – which serve as the AAAs for the Commonwealth – in their efforts to provide a range of comprehensive services to an increasing population of older Americans. My constituency of seniors are engaged, independent contributors to their communities. This legislation will help them maintain that independence and continue to live active, healthy lives in their homes and communities,” Congressman Comer said.