WASHINGTON, July 16 – The Senate today passed by unanimous consent a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a leader in effort to pass this bipartisan legislation, has called for increased funding to support these critical social and nutrition services.
“The Older Americans Act has been extremely important for low-income older Vermonters and seniors across the country,” said Sanders. “Programs like Meals on Wheels are keeping seniors healthy and out of expensive hospitals and nursing homes. I am pleased to see this bill pass with such strong support today.”
The Older Americans Act provides essential services for nearly 12 million seniors such as nutrition programs, job training, caregiver support, transportation and protection from abuse and financial exploitation.
Nearly 4 million seniors do not know where their next meal is coming from, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report prepared for Sanders. Fewer than 10 percent of low-income seniors who needed a meal delivered to their homes in 2013 received one.
“A nation is judged by how it cares for its most vulnerable,” Sanders added. “American seniors should have the supports available to them to remain in their homes and communities. They deserve to live with dignity and with a sense of security, and the Older Americans Act helps to provide that.”
The bill is supported by nearly 100 national organizations representing the voices of tens of millions of Americans including the National Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels America, AARP and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.