Celebrating 50 years of Older Americans Act

Pamela K. Matura - Guest Columnist

This year marks an important milestone in the history of how our country supports its older citizens. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act (OAA) into law in July 1965. Over the past 50 years, the OAA has provided the nation with programs that allow millions of older Americans to continue living and thriving in the communities of their choice for as long as possible.

Through a national network of aging services and funding, the OAA offers a wide range of supports, including home-delivered and congregate meals, caregiver support, preventive health services, transportation, job training, and elder abuse prevention.

While the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) provides these types of services to older adults year-round, this anniversary offers an opportunity to emphasize how older adults can access the home and community-based services they need to live independently in their communities. It is also an occasion to highlight how older adults are engaging with and making a difference in those communities.

The aging network throughout the country serves an average of 11 million people per year. According to the Administration for Community Living, over a five year period, the aging network provided over 130 million rides to doctors’ offices, grocery stores and other essential places; more than 1 billion meals served; over 60 million hours of homemaker services; nearly 20 million hours of case management, over 30 million hours of respite care; almost 248 million hours of community service; and more than 1.5 million individual consultations to long-term care residents and their families. Locally, the AAA7 can provide individuals with more information about these types of services and assist the community with determining eligibility requirements and understanding more about the resources available in their area that promote safe and independent living.

The AAA7 covers ten counties in southern Ohio including Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. Depending upon eligibility, income and other factors, services can be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, other federal and state resources, as well as private pay.

Through a phone call and in-home assessment at no-cost, a specially-trained AAA7 nurse or social worker can engage in an in-depth conversation to help determine the needs of the individual, what they are eligible for, and what programs and services are available in the community to best support their health, safety and well-being.

Call us at 1-800-582-7277 to learn more or e-mail us at info@aaa7.org.

Pamela K. Matura is executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7.


Pamela K. Matura

Guest Columnist