“Older Americans Act Reauthorization signed into law”

We are very pleased to share with you that, today, President Obama signed into law S.192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016. As stated by NASUAD’s Executive Director, Martha Roherty, “NASUAD and our membership are very grateful to the President, Members of Congress, and their staff who have worked tirelessly to pass this important piece of legislation. We particularly want to thank the President for his support of older persons and individuals with disabilities.

“The legislation includes many important provisions which seek to modernize the OAA to reflect the current and future realities of the Aging Network. NASUAD is very supportive of the language that amends the Act to promote state flexibility, person-centeredness, and cultural and linguistic competence in the administration and delivery of OAA services. Additionally, NASUAD supports the provisions in the bill to increase elder justice efforts across the country. We are also supportive of the increased funding authorizations for crucial OAA services.”

Of note for I&R/A professionals, the bill recognizes the important role of information and referral in serving older adults and persons with disabilities through Aging and Disability Resource Centers, which are defined as follows:

“(4) The term ‘Aging and Disability Resource Center’ means an entity, network, or consortium established by a State as part of the State system of long-term care, to provide a coordinated and integrated system for older individuals and individuals with disabilities (as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102)), and the caregivers of older individuals and individuals with disabilities, that provides-

“(A) comprehensive information on the full range of available public and private long-term care programs, options, service providers, and resources within a community, including information on the availability of integrated long-term care services, and Federal or State programs that provide long-term care services and supports through home and community-based service programs;

“(B) person-centered counseling to assist individuals in assessing their existing or anticipated long-term care needs and goals, and developing and implementing a person-centered plan for long-term care that is consistent with the desires of such an individual and designed to meet the individual’s specific needs, goals, and circumstances;

“(C) access for individuals to the full range of publicly-supported long-term care services and supports for which the individuals may be eligible, including home and community-based service options, by serving as a convenient point of entry for such programs and supports; and

“(D) in cooperation with area agencies on aging, centers for independent living described in part C of title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796f et seq.), and other community-based entities, information and referrals regarding available home and community-based services for individuals who are at risk for residing in, or who reside in, institutional settings, so that the individuals have the choice to remain in or to return to the community.”

To access the legislation, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/signed-legislation


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