FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Provides Funds to Support Health of Older Americans
Today, the Administration for Community Living of the US Department of Health and Human Services is releasing $ 1.4 billion in funding for programs under the American Rescue Plan for Older Americans Act, including programs to support the awareness and coordination of vaccines, to combat social isolation, to provide support to family caregivers and to offer nutritional support. It will also fund justice programs to ensure the safety and protection of the elderly.
Funding will be distributed as follows:
- $ 750 million for meals for the elderly. With this funding for Older Americans Act nutrition programs, states will be able to continue to deliver in-home meals as well as drive-through or take-out meals for seniors who would typically attend meal programs at community centers. . which have been closed due to the pandemic. It will also allow states to safely reopen meal program locations that may have been closed during the pandemic.
- $ 460 million for Home and Community Services (HCBS) through the Older Americans Act This funding provides assistance to those who need it with household chores and shopping; transportation to essential services (such as grocery stores, banks or doctors); and case management. The funding can also be used to immunize older Americans and combat the effects of prolonged social isolation.
- $ 44 million for evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention. This includes programs for falls prevention, chronic disease management, and programs to detect and reduce depression in older Americans.
- $ 145 million to help natural caregivers support their loved ones. This funding for the National Caregiver Support Program will help families and caregivers provide in-home support, including counseling, respite care, training and more.
- $ 10 million to protect the health and well-being of residents of long-term care facilities. These funds will support state long-term care ombudsman programs to advocate on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities across the country. This money will allow ombudsman programs that advocate for residents to return safely to facilities after having had to cut this support during the pandemic and will continue to promote the health, safety, well-being and rights of residents.
The announcement coincides with today’s presidential proclamation honoring May 2021 as the Month of Older Americans. The proclamation recognizes that older Americans and their families have faced significant challenges over the past year, and that their resilience and strength have made our country stronger.
Older people deserve to age with dignity and have equitable access to the long-term care system, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability or socio-economic status . The Biden-Harris administration is committed to expanding access to health care, nutrition services, care and opportunities to age in place for all older Americans. In the first 100 days, the Biden-Harris administration took significant steps to ensure the health and safety of the elderly. In addition to the funding announced today, the Authority has:
Increased funding for home and community services. The American Rescue Plan provides states with billions in additional Medicaid funds to help support their home and community service programs. The additional Medicaid funding will help expand access to home and community services for older people and ensure that caregivers are fairly paid for their work.
Increased access to affordable housing for seniors. In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced available funding of $ 150 million to create new, highly affordable housing for very low-income seniors under the Section 202 assisted living program. support for the elderly. The program supports the construction of new rental housing, as well as its continued management and affordability through project-based long-term rental assistance. This will expand access to affordable housing that our country’s seniors critically need.
Provision of COVID-19 vaccines and testing for elderly residents of HUD-assisted housing. President Biden has kept his promise to expand the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and make everyone aged 16 and over eligible for vaccines. However, too many Americans, especially older Americans, continue to face barriers to accessing COVID-19 vaccines. On Friday, April 30, the HUD and HHS secretaries released a joint letter directing HUD’s community health centers and housing agency network, homeowners and programs to provide COVID vaccinations and testing -19 to HUD-assisted households, including elderly residents of HUD Senior and Public Housing. HUD and HHS regional and field staff will facilitate these partnerships, including coordinating on-site vaccination clinics in HUD-assisted housing serving the elderly.
Expanded nutritional assistance for low-income older people. The Dietary Supplement Program (CSFP) provides nutritious, nationally sourced foods from the USDA to low-income people 60 years of age or older. The US bailout has provided nearly $ 37 million to expand the reach of the CSFP by responding to all state requests for 2021 to serve more seniors and adding Wichita and affiliated tribes to the program. This expansion, along with similar actions in other nutrition programs, including SNAP serving this population, will help address food insecurity among older people during the pandemic. Additionally, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is ensuring that those who depend on the CSFP do not unintentionally lose access to their benefits as a result of the financial assistance they receive as part of the US bailout. FNS provides guidance to states and tribal nations to exclude stimulus funds and child tax credits provided by the American Rescue Plan from income when determining eligibility for the CSFP.
Proposal for robust investments in the economy of care delivery. Ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and policymakers have warned of a looming crisis in long-term care. Before 2020, it was estimated that more than half of people turning 65 would need long-term services and supports (LTSS). Seniors can benefit from these types of services in a variety of places: at home, in retirement homes or in assisted living facilities. The American Jobs Plan proposes to invest an additional $ 400 billion to expand access to these services and long-term supports for older Americans. This investment will also support well-paid caregiving jobs that include benefits and the ability to bargain collectively, building public infrastructure to improve the quality of services and support workers. The funding will take important steps to help seniors obtain high quality care at home and in their communities.