Modernization of the Older Americans Act Amendments
Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title II programs.
Encourages Aging and Disability Resource Centers to collaborate with Centers for Independent
Living and other aging or disability entities.
Modernizes the Older Americans Act to ensure programs consider and coordinate with State
assistive technology programs authorized by the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.
Codifies the National Resource Center for Women and Retirement. The Center provides basic
financial management, retirement planning and other educational tools that promote financial literacy and help identify and prevent fraud and elder exploitation for women.
Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to provide technical assistance on how to deliver
evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs for different populations in a variety of different settings, such as in local communities and rural areas.
Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to coordinate with the Assistant Secretary for Mental
Health and Substance Use and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in implementing suicide prevention activities for older individuals.
Modernizes the existing Interagency Coordinating Committee on healthy aging and includes
supporting age-friendly communities as part of the activities and recommendations of the Committee.
Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to review existing programs under the Older
Americans Act to determine if and how such programs are adequately addressing greatest social need and make recommendations on ways to improve how programs address negative impacts associated with social isolation for older individuals.
Clarifies grantees ability to engage in business partnerships with private entities, and, at the
request of grantees, directs the Assistant Secretary for Aging to provide technical assistance for developing and establishing business partnerships.
Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to regularly update State agencies, area agencies on
aging, and service providers on the availability of, or updates to, policies, practices and procedures through electronic format.
Extends the authorization for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act from 3 years to 8 years.
Modernizes the evaluation of the Older Americans Act programs. Ensures the Secretary reviews,
coordinates, and streamlines the evaluation of existing Older Americans Act programs to assess the impact of the existing programs on older individuals’ or caregivers’ health and on health care spending. Ensures the Secretary will also measure future demonstration projects’ impact on reducing health care spending and their ability to maintain or improve quality of care. Requires the Secretary to prepare and submit to Congress a 5 year evaluation plan of all the Older Americans Act programs by December 1, 2020 and every fifth year thereafter. This section also renames Title IV of the Older Americans Act to Innovation, Demonstration, and Evaluation Within Aging Programs.
Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title III programs.
Sec.203.Maintenance of effort for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. Updates the maintenance of effort funding provisions for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.
Recognizes the practice of statewide senior legal hotlines for purposes of supporting and
providing legal assistance for older individuals and requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to submit a report with information on existing statewide senior legal hotlines and recommendations to Congress three years after enactment.
Updates the cap for state administrative costs from the 1992 level of $500,000 to $750,000.
Makes improvements to nutrition programs. Encourages states to work with area agencies on
aging to reduce the administrative burden for transferring funds between nutrition programs for congregate and home-delivered meals. Defines ‘nutrition service provider’ and makes conforming edits.
Recognizes and clarifies existing authority to provide services to those with Alzheimer’s disease
at any age.
Requires a GAO study on practices regarding contracting, cost-sharing, waivers, and voluntary
contributions for programs authorized under the Older Americans Act, and the impacts of those practices on older individuals’ access to those programs.
Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to review existing policies and practices for
measuring the number of meals provided under the programs and the number of meals in demand, and make recommendations on the most successful ways of capturing this data.
Makes improvements to the National Family Caregiver Support program. Defines ‘caregiver
assessment,’ and updates the support services to ensure that these services take into consideration information received from such assessments. Removes the ten percent funding cap for older relative caregivers. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to identify best practices for caregiver assessments. Allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award funds for activities of national significance that improve support provided to caregivers, including for program evaluation, training, technical assistance, and research. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to provide technical assistance on how to promote and implement caregiver assessments. Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging to report to Congress on the use of caregiver assessments, how to improve them, and how to further their use.
Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title IV and Title V programs.
Modernizes and improves an existing transportation grant program to enhance the aggregation,
availability, and accessibility of information on options for transportation services for older individuals, including through contemporary forms of transportation and technology such as on- demand transportation services.
Improves an existing grant program for multigenerational collaboration to place an emphasis on
grant funding for the direct services of these projects, including projects that locate programs for
older and younger individuals in the same facility.
Allows grantees to use funds under section 411 for planning the placement of volunteers in
communities to assist family caregivers, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities in maintaining independence by providing non-medical care.
[Committee plans to review Title VI programs and provide language for updating and enhancing these programs.]
Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title VI programs.
Reauthorizes Older Americans Act of 1965 Title VII programs.
Modernizes the minimum funding allotments for the ombudsman and elder abuse programs by
changing years from “2000” to “2019.”
Clarifies that volunteer ombudsman representatives can be reimbursed for costs incurred through
their service, such as transportation costs.
Updates elder justice activities to include community outreach and education as part of the
multidisciplinary efforts. Ensures innovative projects capture programs and materials for developing partnerships in communities.
Updates the best practices for home and community-based ombudsmen.
Requires a GAO study on federal programs for home modification assistance for older
individuals and individuals with disabilities.
n4a Responds to Senate Draft OAA Reauthorization Bill
Earlier this month, the bipartisan working group consisting of members from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Aging Committees released a draft bill that would reauthorize the Older Americans Act, Modernization of the Older Americans Act Amendments. As noted in n4a’s June 6 Legislative Update, the working group requested rapid response from advocates to provide feedback and technical assistance on the draft bill. Because the reauthorization process has been moving quickly in the Senate, advocates had an abbreviated timeframe to respond to the bipartisan draft.
n4a was one of many national, state and local stakeholders to submit comments on the draft bill. However, we expect that working group members will thoughtfully consider and incorporate n4a’s member-informed feedback because of the integral role that Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American aging programs serve in deploying OAA services across the country.
While the Senate OAA working group limited the proposals in the draft reauthorization bill to modest changes that could garner bipartisan support, n4a provided comments and technical assistance on nearly all proposals included in the draft with the goal of strengthening the final bill. The Senate has yet to tackle more difficult, and potentially contentious, issues such as specific funding authorization levels and the geographically challenging, population-based federal funding formula for OAA programs (note: n4a does not take positions on funding formula details), so there are still many components of the reauthorization that lawmakers must work through.
n4a’s Response to the Senate’s Draft Bill
n4a supports the working group’s bipartisan, inclusive process and appreciates that left out of the draft were several proposals that we felt strongly would undermine the ability of AAAs and service providers to efficiently and effectively deliver OAA services, including a proposal from the Trump Administration that would eliminate the “right of first refusal” for local governments to serve as AAAs. Simply keeping those harmful proposals out of the bill is a significant advocacy win!
n4a also supports several of the proposals in the working group’s draft as written, including:
While n4a had feedback on many issues outlined in the draft bill, we prioritized our comments to include proposals that were relevant to our OAA reauthorization priorities, as well as those that may have some unintended consequences for the Aging Network. n4a provided feedback on proposals that would:
Overall the Senate working group’s draft OAA reauthorization bill requires several studies and reports on various components of service delivery, including the status of caregiver assessment activity, home modification programs for older adults, and cost-sharing activities within the Act.
Next Steps for Aging Advocates
Key staff and Senators will review stakeholder feedback on the draft bill and work with advocates to address issues. Senators will also have to work through potentially controversial issues such as authorization levels and the funding formula over the next few weeks. n4a will update our members as these discussions progress.
On the House side, n4a is having frequent conversations with committee leaders, answering questions and providing initial feedback on preliminary policy ideas, while also educating committee staff on the Act. We expect the House activity to pick up in the next month.
In the meantime, advocates should continue to educate their Members of Congress in both the House and the Senate about the importance of OAA programs and the need to reauthorize. Aging advocates should continue using the advocacy tools and resources available online in n4a’s OAA Reauthorization Toolkit at www.n4a.org/OAA.
This Legislative Update is an n4a membership benefit. For more information about these and other federal aging policy issues, please contact n4a’s policy team: Amy Gotwals (email@example.com) and Autumn Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org), 202.872.0888.
June 15th is designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This is an opportunity for communities all across the world to come together and promote a better understanding of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults. The focus is to raise awareness of the social, cultural, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than one million people age 65 or older in America alone have suffered abuse. It is also estimated that for each case of reported elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, about five more incidents go unreported.
Elder abuse is the willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, or the willful deprivation by a caretaker of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health. Elder abuse takes many forms, including:
Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated. While likely under-reported, estimates of elder financial abuse and fraud costs to older Americans range from $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion annually. Yet, financial exploitation is self-reported at rates higher than emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. Warning signs of elder abuse include the following:
If an older adult is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 911. Anyone who suspects that an older adult is being mistreated should contact a local Adult Protective Services office within the Department of Social Services, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or police.
How can elder abuse be prevented?
Educating seniors, professionals, caregivers, and the public on abuse is critical to prevention. If you’re an older adult, you can stay safe by:
Regional Elder Abuse Awareness Events and Efforts for 2019:
Carteret County: Digital billboard campaign
Craven County: Newspaper media campaign
Duplin County: Elder Abuse Awareness Walk
Greene County: Elder Abuse Awareness Walk
Jones County: Info distribution at Health Fair
Lenoir County: Elder Abuse Awareness Walk
Onslow County: Elder Abuse Awareness Walk
Pamlico County: Digital billboard campaign
Wayne County: Elder Abuse Awareness Symposium
Division of Water Infrastructure Announces
Fall 2019 Application Training at Six Sites Statewide
(Sylva, Valdese, Kernersville, Winterville, Pembroke, Research Triangle Park)
The Division of Water Infrastructure in the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announces
training for the Fall
2019 funding round. Funding offered for the State Revolving Fund and Community Development Block
Grant – Infrastructure programs this round will be announced shortly after July 10. Funding for the
State Reserve Program will be announced pending approval of the state budget and funding
availability. All applications must be received by the Division no later than close of business on
Sept. 30, 2019. Application training for the following funding programs will be offered from July
24 to August 9 at the locations indicated in the chart below.
• State Reserve Program: This program funds both wastewater and drinking water projects as well as
the Asset Inventory and Assessment Grants and Merger / Regionalization Feasibility Grants. Funding
limits for water and wastewater projects as well as the grant programs are as follows:
o Project Loans and Grants for Water and Wastewater Infrastructure. Funding is available to all
Local Government Units (LGUs) and non-profit water corporations and has grant limits of $3 million
per applicant per project type (water/sewer) over a period of three consecutive fiscal years. Loans
with a targeted interest rate have a limit of $3 million per applicant per project type over a
period of three consecutive fiscal years. Loans at market interest rate have loan limits up to $3
million per applicant per project type per year. Grant percentages of project costs are based upon
o Asset Inventory and Assessment Grants. This program funds both wastewater and drinking water
projects. It is available to LGUs and non-profit water corporations and has a limit of $150,000
per applicant per project type (water/sewer) over three consecutive fiscal years. Funds related to
this grant are available to inventory the existing water and/or sewer system and document the
condition of the inventoried infrastructure.
o Merger / Regionalization Feasibility Grants. This program funds both wastewater and drinking
water projects. It is available to LGUs and non-profit water corporations and has a limit of
$50,000 per applicant per project type over three consecutive fiscal years. Funds related to this
grant are available to determine the feasibility of consolidating the management of multiple
utilities into a single utility operation or to provide regional treatment and the best way of
carrying out the consolidation or regionalization.
• Clean Water State Revolving Fund: This program funds wastewater and green projects. It is
available to all LGUs and non-profit water corporations and offers low-interest loans up to $30
million per applicant.
• Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: This program funds drinking water projects. It is
available to all LGUs, non-profit water corporations, and for-profit water corporations and offers
low-interest loans up to $20 million per applicant.
• Community Development Block Grant- Infrastructure: This program funds wastewater and drinking
water projects. It is available to counties and municipalities and offers grants up to $2 million
per applicant every three years.
If you are considering applying for funding related to any of the available programs listed above,
the Division of Water Infrastructure encourages you to attend a training session. If you cannot
attend training, division staff will be available to meet on an individual basis. Application
training will be held during the weeks of July 22 and August 5. Training begins at 10 a.m. and ends
at 4:00 p.m. Application materials will be available on the division website before training begins
at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wi//application-forms. Please see the chart below for application
training dates and locations.
Division of Water Infrastructure Application Training Sessions Statewide
for Fall 2019 Funding Round
Space is limited at each location. Please RSVP to Jennifer Haynie at email@example.com
(919.707.9173) at least a week prior to the training event you plan to attend. Please provide your
name, organization, e-mail, phone number, and the location you plan to attend. All training
sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Sylva, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (20 seats available)
Southwestern Commission 125 Bonnie Lane
Sylva, NC 28779
Thursday, July 25, 2019, Valdese, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (50 seats available)
Old Rock School (Waldesian Room) 400 Main Street West
Valdese, NC 28690
Friday, July 25, 2019, Kernersville, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (40 seats available)
Piedmont Triad Regional Council of Governments 1398 Carrollton Crossing Drive
Kernersville, NC 27284
Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, Winterville, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (50 seats available) Pitt County
Community College (G. Henry Leslie Auditorium, Room #143) 2000 Eddie Smith Street
Winterville, NC 28590
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, Pembroke, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (30 seats available)
Lumber River Council of Governments 30 C.J. Walker Road
Pembroke, NC 28372
Friday, Aug. 9, Research Triangle Park, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (30 seats available)
Triangle J Council of Governments 4307 Emperor Boulevard, Suite 110
Durham, NC 27703