The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) urges those in the aging-services network to contact their U.S. representatives and ask them to sign the letter being circulated by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Ted Deutch and Dave Loebsack that requests the previously authorized increase of funding for vital Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III programs in 2018.
Specifically, the funding would support Home and Community-Based Supportive Services (HCBS), which supports programs essential to keeping older adults in their homes and communities, including in-home assistance, adult day care, transportation services, access to legal assistance, case management and care coordination services. It also would support Congregate Nutrition Services and Home-Delivered Nutrition Services, which provides nutritious meals—and social contact—to older adults in need, as well as the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), which offers supports including help accessing services such as respite care, counseling, support groups and training so that families can keep loved ones at home.
Advocates are asked to contact their representatives, even if they know the request will not be easy, as it’s vital that all representatives understand how critical OAA funding is to older adults and caregivers.
Step 1: Call the Washington, D.C., office and ask for the staff member who handles the Older Americans Act or appropriations issues. You can reach that person through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or find the number on your representative’s website. (Since time is of the essence, call or fax your request—emails won’t get noticed in time.)
Step 2: Tell the staff member about the letter and offer to email him or her a link if needed.
Step 3: Let the person know exactly why you want your representative to sign the letter. Give local statistics that demonstrate the need for an increase in OAA funding. If he asks for a staff contact for Rep. Bonamici (the lead representative in circulating the letter), tell him to call Jack Arriaga at 202-225-0855.
The deadline for signatures is end of day Monday, April 3.
Representatives urging the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee to support these programs by funding them at the authorized levels will ensure that the modest increases Congress approved in last year’s OAA reauthorization become a reality.
Call our Lifespan Legal Services LLC office if you want more information about this topic. 484-451-6612 Bob Gasparro, Esq.