May 11, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Applauds Funds to Support the Health of Older Americans in American Rescue Plan

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee applauded the announcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living releasing $1.4 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan for Older Americans Act programs  

As we mark Older Americans Month this May, it is important to address the disproportionate impact of this pandemic and economic crisis on older Americans, especially in communities of color and medically underserved communities,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan, which includes the Older Americans Act programs, that will help support long-term care as well as access to meals, vaccines, and mental health resources for older Americans. I look forward to continuing my work with the Biden-Harris administration to support the health and safety of older Americans in the East Bay and across the country.”  

 The funding will be distributed as follows:  

  • $750 million for meals for older adults. With this funding for Older Americans Act nutrition programs, states will be able to continue home-delivered meals as well as “drive-through” or “grab-and-go" meals for older adults who typically would participate in meal programs at community centers that have been closed due to the pandemic. It will also allow states to re-open meal program locations safely that might have closed during the pandemic.  

  • $460 million for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) through the Older Americans Act. This funding provides help to those who need it for help with household chores and grocery shopping; transportation to essential services (such as grocery stores, banks, or doctors); and case management. The funding can also be used to vaccinate older Americans and address the effects ofextended social isolation. 

  • $44 million for evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention. This includes programs to address fall prevention, managing a chronic disease, and programs to detect and reduce depression among older Americans.  

  • $145 million to help family caregivers support their loved ones. This funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program will assist family andinformal caregivers to provide in-home supports, including counseling, respite care, training and more. 

  • $10 million to safeguard the health and welfare of residents in 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 are advocating for residents to safely go back into facilities after they had to discontinue that support during the pandemic, and continue to promote the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.