A Senate bill to amend the act that made Meals on Wheels an American institution would take a similar approach to other community-based services by creating broad new public-private partnerships.
Introduced earlier this month by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR), Senate bill 1536 would unite agencies that handle health, transportation, veterans affairs, labor and more to develop new healthy aging strategies that promote independence and physical and social well-being across community and long-term care settings.
In addition to addressing preventative and at-home care, the proposal also calls for a focus on more age-friendly communities and improved access to care.
LeadingAge is advocating on behalf of the legislation, which would bring together government officials with private-sector stakeholders from nonprofit organizations and academia to create new solutions.
“Whether it’s transportation, affordable housing, nutrition, caregiving or preventing social isolation, we need to be thinking about the full picture and breaking down any existing silos,” read a one-page summary on the bill supplied by Peters and LeadingAge.
In addition to the bill, the creation of a public-private coordinating body could also be triggered as part of the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act of 1965. Advocates want to see that passed before Congress recesses for August break. The OAA, which funds nutrition programs; in-home services; transportation; legal services; elder abuse prevention and caregiver support, is set to expire in September.
The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations has issued a list of 10 consensus recommendations for reauthorization, topped by asking for doubled funding “over five years to reflect corresponding increases in the population.”