Older Americans Act Re-authorization 2013-Take Action!

Did you know that “future planning” was removed from the current bill on the re-authorization of the Older Americans Act?  Contact your Congress person and share how you feel about this as a sibling.

Earlier this month, Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee (http://www.help.senate.gov/), along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, introduced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2018.  The measure, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S. 1562), is the result of bipartisan negotiations on the part of the Committee and Subcommittee leadership.

The Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) supports the addition of aging caregivers of individuals with disabilities in the provisions for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) since this is very important to brothers and sisters of people with disabilities because as parents age, many siblings become increasingly involved in caring for their siblings.  However, the current version of the bill has omitted references to “future planning” in the provisions on Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs).

Contact your Senator today (http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm) and share your thoughts on this change, and how it affects you as a sibling and/or advocate.  Urge your Senator to restore the original language that includes “future long-term care needs” as a priority for the ADRCs to help family members plan for their loved one’s future.

Talking Points:

  • Future planning as a priority of the ADRCs is of crucial importance to siblings as our families need to make informed plans for our siblings’ future needs.
  • As our parents age, our siblings’ future can become increasingly unclear.  Unclear expectations and lack of resources about future planning often contribute to increased emergency situations at the time of the caregiver’s passing.
  • Including future planning as part of the ADRCs’ role will help ensure smooth transitions of care for our families.
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