Senate Passes Boozman, Peters Bipartisan Measures to Support Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities
Mar 04 2020
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Gary Peters (D-MI) welcomed Senate passage of bipartisan provisions they introduced to support age-friendly communities in Arkansas, Michigan and across the nation.
The measures based on their Age-Friendly Communities Act would establish a committee to bring agencies from across the federal government together to develop a national set of goals on healthy aging and age-friendly communities. The measures passed the Senate as part of the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, our country’s preeminent law focused on the wellbeing of seniors.
“America’s senior population is growing rapidly. Those numbers will continue to skyrocket, with projections pointing to a 129 percent increase in the number of older Americans over the age of 85 over the next 20 years. Clearly, our communities need to be prepared to meet the needs of an aging population,” Boozman said. “The language Senator Peters and I included in this bill is based on best practices, many of which are already incorporated in Arkansas’s state plan on aging. Our approach will help bring communities together to address this challenge by creating public-private partnerships to modernize long-term care practices and increase access to preventative care services older Americans need, while helping to make our communities more age-friendly across the country.”
“With a growing number of Michiganders and Americans entering into the later stages of adulthood and retirement, dependable access to quality healthcare, housing and transportation services is essential to leading happy, independent lives,” Peters said. “My bipartisan measures would help provide the resources needed to support a new generation of older Americans and seniors throughout their retirement years, and I look forward to this legislation being signed into law.”
As part of the Age-Friendly Community Act, the Senate passed measures to define “age-friendly communities” within federal law and to authorize the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to share best practices on sustaining age-friendly communities with state and local elected officials and age-friendly community leaders.
The broader Older Americans Act reauthorizes the bill for the next five years and increases funding levels. This legislation will strengthen a range of senior programs and services, including those related to caregiving, nutrition and social support, transportation, and other initiatives to help seniors age in place and live independently in their homes and communities. The legislation has broad support including from AARP, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, the National Area Agencies on Aging, National Alliance for Caregiving, Meals on Wheels America and the Alzheimer’s Association.