This blog originally appeared on the National Hispanic Council on Aging’s blog.
The Older Americans Act is the single most important piece of legislation for older Americans that supports senior centers, long-term care programs, transportation services and other essential assistance services for older adults. Yet, the OAA, which was last reauthorized in 2006, was up for reauthorization in 2011. Since 2011, NHCOA has advocated tirelessly for the OAA reauthorization as many of its key programs underfunded and misaligned with the changing demographics.
Given the growth and diversification of the U.S. aging population, the OAA needs to be reauthorized to reflect our current reality, as well as meet the needs of our most vulnerable seniors across the country.
This past November, several members of NHCOA’s Hispanic Aging Network travelled from different corners of the country to attend the NHCOA Capitol Hill briefing and advocate on behalf of the Hispanic older adults they serve on a daily basis. These leaders shared their personal stories and a petition signed by more than 5,000 people asking the Senate to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (S.192). Thanks to their efforts and those of advocates, family members, caregivers, and seniors across the country, S. 192 is expected to be discussed on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
Now more than ever we need to send the U.S. Senate a clear, united message to reauthorize the Act, which is why we are asking for 5 minutes of your time to make two phone calls. Act Now. Call both your state senators.
Dial 1-888-277-8686 and follow the prompts to be connected to your state Senator. Once you are connected you can leave the following message for each of your senators:
I understand the Senate will be discussing the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act in a few weeks. I urge Senator [YOUR SENATOR’S LAST NAME] to reauthorize the bill so that it is updated to better serve the needs of diverse older Americans. Thank you for your consideration.
Spread the word. (Pase la Voz.)
We also ask that you forward this message to all your friends, family members, and colleagues. The more people who call, the more attention the Older Americans Act will get from our lawmakers.
Thank you for using your voice to advocate for older Americans across the country!
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.