This afternoon the President signed the bipartisan FY 2018 omnibus bill approved by the House and Senate which includes long-overdue—and much needed—funding increases for vital community programs that provide services to older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers in communities around the country. These increases are significant steps toward restoring the funding that had been lost to budget cuts and sequestration since FY 2011.
“This funding bill is great news for older adults and their caregivers, and the increases it includes will improve the capacity of local aging programs to effectively meet the needs of our nation’s rapidly growing aging population,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. She continued, “We appreciate that lawmakers increased investments in vital OAA programs and services funded through the U.S. Administration on Aging, which means that older adults will continue to receive in-home services, home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, caregiver supports, evidence-based health and wellness programs and other essential services that enable older adults to maintain their health and independence for as long as possible.”
Lawmakers rejected proposals from the Trump Administration to eliminate key federal programs that help low-income older adults meet their basic needs, find jobs to make ends meet, give back to their communities through volunteerism, receive one-on-one help understanding their Medicare and other benefits, and—most importantly—help them live independently at home and in the community.
“We look forward to working with leaders of both parties in Congress to build upon these investments in budget negotiations for the next fiscal year and beyond. Given the projected growth in the aging population, it is essential that we continue to increase funding for OAA and other aging programs to ensure that we keep the country’s longstanding commitment to help its citizens live with dignity and independence at home and in their communities. The increases included in this funding bill represent the first step in that process,” said Markwood.