As the news bulletin indicates below, older adults have been hard hit by the current economic crisis. Food banks are down, Congregated Meal sites and Meals on Wheels, nutrition programs—open to all Americans 60 years and older— are in high demand.
For the past twenty years or more, the demand for Older American Act (OAA) home and community-based services such as nutrition services, have not been able to keep up with demand in most communities. Part of the problem is that OAA services have been grossly underfunded compared to comparable programs for other segments of the population.
The other flaw may be the way we structured the programs were for a much smaller proportion of the population for a much shorter duration. Today we have a greater number and proportion of the population who are 60 and older, and they are living longer. Much longer. We need new comprehensive models—ones that are greener, more effective and more efficient—to address food security issues and other issues that will enable our elders to stay in their homes and connected to their communities.
AOA PRESS RELEASE:
The Administration on Aging (AoA) is pleased to report that on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The legislation contains key investments that will prevent the loss of health coverage, promote prevention programs and lower health care spending for our nation during these challenging economic times. The legislation includes $100 million for meals and nutrition services for older Americans to help them maintain their health and independence, allocated as follows:
o $65 million for congregate nutrition services
o $32 million for home-delivered nutrition services
o $3 million for Native American nutrition services under Title VI.
To read the full press release, click here