The federal government was extremely active in 2012 in their efforts to improve senior care. There is good news and bad news. Many of the initiatives will carry over into the new year, but some key members of Congress will be retiring at the end of the session, so the political climate will be different in 2013.
Come January 3, 2013, when the new Congress convenes, there will be a new chair and a new ranking member leading the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Let’s hope that they will continue to be as concerned about senior care – which includes Alzheimer’s research, assisted living and other senior resources.
Recently the federal Department of Health and Human Services created the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Their goal is to increase “access to community supports and full participation, while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older Americans and people with disabilities.” The ACL includes the efforts and achievements of the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in a single agency, with enhanced policy and program support for both cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups such as children with developmental disabilities, adults with physical disabilities, or seniors, including seniors with Alzheimer’s.
We are hoping they can move mountains toward better preparing for the increasing numbers of people who now qualify as a “senior” so they can remain as independent as possible. We will be keeping an eye on these committees and offering input to our congressional representatives where we can. We encourage you to join us.
We are dedicated in our efforts to continue federal, state, and local planning and development so senior housing and other senior resources are adequate now and for the future. This means a lot here locally in the Vancouver Washington, Clark County area.
We will continue to support our community with our services along with our volunteer efforts. Read More about Kathy’s volunteer efforts in this month’s Volunteer Voice.
You may also find this article on how volunteering helps seniors by our fellow senior housing consultant in Olympia WA – Assisted Living Options owner Nancy Watkins.