New Bill Brings Renewed Support for Senior In-Home Services

A new bill introduced this week would help boost funding for certain at-home senior services that were previously cut back, including Meals on Wheels. 

The bill, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, would strengthen the Older Americans Act—a support of various programs for older Americans, including meal delivery to their homes. 

“With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, our country’s growing population of seniors includes many who rely on these critical programs to help them stay in their own homes and communities,” Sanders said.

The new legislation amends the act, originally passed in 1965 to provide infrastructure for social services such as meal delivery, caregiver support, protection from elder abuse and job training services with an eye toward independence of seniors and supporting their ability to maintain independence in their homes. 

If passed, the amendments would reauthorize core programs of the act through 2018 with a 12% increase to address a growing senior population. They would also update and address the areas of greatest need, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease; and would include added senior protections against abuse, neglect and exploitation. 

Read a fact sheet on the bill

Written by Elizabeth Ecker