Celebrating Older Individuals Month by Empowering Our Older Adults

I bear in mind working alongside my father throughout my youth paving and repairing Sacramento roads. My father was a robust man who awakened within the early morning hours daily, went to work, and returned residence to do extra work round the home. As he grew older, his physique may need aged, however his resilient and hard-working spirit stayed the identical. “Do not confuse them along with your lean in,” he would inform me once I drafted remarks to constituents. “Inform them about GANAS!” In my residence GANAS imply guts, grits, and sport, and my father had a number of GANAS.

All through his life and till his passing two years in the past, my father remained dedicated to his group and to his household. And regardless of the unhappiness of getting to say goodbye, I took satisfaction in having the ability to look after him and help him as he led a plentiful life throughout his golden years.

Like my father, for the reason that starting of the pandemic, older Individuals have proven a number of GANAS by the disproportionate challenges they’ve confronted. Remoted from their households and associates, separated from group assets, and below siege from a pandemic that put them at far higher danger of great sickness and even dying, tens of millions of older Individuals set an instance of resilience for us all to comply with, by overcoming hardships and even discovering new methods to thrive. Older Individuals are themselves a “Group of Power,” and our nation is stronger after they can contribute their data, abilities and instance to the communities by which they stay. Older Individuals have performed an vital function in serving to our nation climate this disaster, and they’re going to proceed to play an vital function as we get better. Now it is vital that we help our older adults of their later years.

Throughout Older Individuals Month, we acknowledge and rejoice these contributions, and recommit to our work to empower older adults, to allow them to stay as independently as attainable and proceed to take part totally of their communities and our nation. Right here is how:

  • HRSA-funded well being facilities ship reasonably priced accessible, high quality, and cost-effective main well being care to almost 30 million folks annually, together with greater than 8 million folks age 50 and older.
  • Vaccination is important for older adults, however many have had issue making or touring to vaccination appointments or have confronted different limitations to taking this vital step to guard themselves from COVID-19. With funding from CDC, the Administration for Group Residing (ACL) issued practically $100 million in grants to the getting old and incapacity networks to supply important providers to assist older adults and folks with disabilities overcome these limitations.  ACL, the Workplace for Civil Rights (OCR), and the Workplace of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Analysis (ASPE) revealed a number of new assets and steering on April 13, 2021 to assist states, vaccination suppliers, and others main COVID-19 response actions enhance entry to vaccines for older adults and folks with disabilities.
  • Funded by the American Rescue Plan, ACL issued grants totaling $1.4B to assist older adults get better from the COVID-19 pandemic. Amongst different advantages, these grants will assist speed up vaccinations of older adults, help household caregivers, present meals and different vitamin providers, assist older adults join and interact with others to scale back social isolation, and re-open senior facilities.
  • Constructing on work they’ve performed all through the pandemic to uphold the rights of older adults and folks with disabilities to non-discriminatory entry to medical assets, OCR this week introduced the profitable decision of a grievance in opposition to the State of Arizona. Because of this, Arizona’s disaster requirements of care tips have been revised to mirror authorized necessities and finest practices concerning the wants of older adults and folks with disabilities.
  • The Administration for Youngsters and Households (ACF) has supplied grants to all states, territories, and several other tribes over the previous a number of years to ascertain, develop and consider kinship navigator applications, which offer an vital mechanism to help kinship caregivers, akin to grandparents. The Census Bureau estimates that there are 2.7 million grandparent caregivers in the US.
  • The CDC and the Alzheimer’s Affiliation, with contributions from the Indian Well being Service and steering from tribes and tribal organizations, produced the Wholesome Mind Initiative Roadmap for Indian Nation, the first-ever public well being information centered on dementia in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
  • The Workplace of the Nationwide Coordinator for Well being Info Expertise (ONC), in collaboration with OCR, developed the Information to Getting and Utilizing Your Well being Information to assist everybody – sufferers and their caregivers – study their rights to get, verify and use their well being data to take management of their well being, well-being, and security.
  • The CDC’s Division of Damage Prevention launched the nationwide Nonetheless Going Sturdy Marketing campaign on Might 6, 2021 to lift consciousness of the main causes of unintentional accidents and deaths in older adults, age 65 and older, in order that older adults can keep wholesome and unbiased longer.
  • The Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers (CMS) has supplied states with steering for receiving elevated federal funding for residence and community-based providers (HCBS) by the American Rescue Plan. HCBS make it attainable for tens of millions of seniors and folks with disabilities and continual diseases to stay locally and to keep away from establishments.

Rising previous is a street that all of us journey if we’re lucky, and most of us will want help – whether or not that’s from household or associates, or by providers supplied in our houses – to journey it in our personal communities. As we construct again higher, the Biden-Harris Administration has dedicated to making sure that we construct the infrastructure we have to present these providers and help casual caregivers. This Older Individuals Month, I consider my father and his instance and steering, and as a Division we recommit to doing our half to honor older adults and to empowering them to proceed dwelling full, wholesome and unbiased lives.

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