Last year’s White House Conference on Aging introduced many groundbreaking initiatives for elderly Americans. Older Americans, caregivers, advocates, community leaders and families joined President Obama at the White House to discuss the needs of America’s aging population.
Strengthening Social Security is a priority for the administration, as well as increasing access to retirement savings for those who don’t have a plan through an employer. Federal and military service workers will have improved retirement security.
Obama also plans to facilitate workplace-based retirement savings opportunities in each state. In November, the U.S. Department of Labor published a proposed rule for states to regulate retirement savings.
Exercise is vital to the new initiatives. The National Institutes of Health, Go4Life and the YMCA are all rolling out programs to encourage physical activity in older adults.
Caregiver education funding will increase. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will develop new fall prevention programs, and the Health Resources and Services Administration will award $35 million to expand geriatrics education for the health care workforce, including information about Alzheimer’s disease.
Medicare and Medicaid enrollment education is getting a boost. The Social Security Administration plans to update educational materials.
Community support for specific needs – such as women’s health, LGBT seniors, Native American communities, and seniors with Alzheimer’s – will be provided through training modules and state and local outreach programs.
Aging in place will become easier. The U.S. Department of Transportation will launch the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, increasing transit options. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will improve accessibility to nutrition for seniors.
Long-term Services and Supports
Quality and safety requirements in nursing homes will get an update through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Caregiver support includes insurance coverage for caregivers through the Affordable Care Act, a handbook on workplace flexibility and work-life programs, and a catalogue supporting entry into health care careers.
Revisions to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) guidelines will support elderly victims of abuse, financial exploitation, fraud, and neglect.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will release an advisory to help institutions prevent financial exploitation of elders. The Administration for Community Living and the U.S. Department of Justice are rolling out pilot projects to recognize, intervene in and stop elder abuse.
Prosecutors in all 50 states will be trained by the Department of Justice to prosecute elder abuse and financial exploitation, partnering with law enforcement agencies.
For more detail, check out the recently released full report from the July 13 conference.