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January 12, 2022

King, Casey Introduce Bill to Better Support Aging Americans

The Innovations in Aging Act would support research and investments to improve aging programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) are introducing legislation seeking to improve critical quality-of-life services and programs for American seniors. The Innovations in Aging Act would provide funding for the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to evaluate opportunities to improve essential aging services, including home-delivered meal programs and long-term care. The number of U.S. adults aged 85 and older is projected to more than double by 2040, increasing the urgency of taking action now to meet the growing needs of an aging society and enable more older adults to live healthy, independent lives.

“As Maine’s senior population continues to steadily grow, the need for quality aging programs grows along with it. To support these valued members of our community, we must make forward-looking investments to help aging Americans have access to the modern resources they need to safely and comfortably age in place,” said Senator Angus King. “The Innovations in Aging Act would strengthen important programs that support millions of seniors across the country, investing in evidence-based efforts and creating significant opportunities to improve quality-of-life for Maine seniors. Taking this action today will help prepare us for the needs of tomorrow – so let’s act now, and set ourselves up for the challenges ahead.”

“The Innovations in Aging Act represents our commitment to the generations who came before us and lifts up seniors,” said Senator Bob Casey. “We must continue to fund programs that support older Americans as our Nation ages, ensuring seniors have access to comprehensive services that enable them to live independently during their golden years.”

“On behalf of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and our Institute for Integrative Aging, I applaud Senator Angus King’s sponsorship of the Aging Innovation Act,” said Dr. Jim Dlugos, President of Saint Joseph’s College. “This new legislation comes at a critical time for our country, and for the state of Maine, whose population is, at once, the oldest and the most rural in the union. Through our Institute for Integrative Aging, we look forward to partnering with other organizations to engage in the research, evaluation, and innovation that is so critical to enable our older citizens to age in place and to replace loneliness and isolation with connection and community.”

The Innovations in Aging Act would invest in the research, evaluation, and innovation necessary to identify best practices and evaluate the impact of the services provided by the aging services network on older adults’ health and independence. The Older Americans Act, first passed in 1965, established a framework to support Americans as they age. This legislation would update that priority by making significant investments in Administration for Community Living’s Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Center for the Aging Network’s work to evaluate and find opportunities for improvements in aging programs like home-delivered meal programs and long-term care programs.

The legislation would also elevate evidence-based programs and best practices across the aging services network through technical assistance and trainings; and support innovative projects designed to foster partnerships and integrate programs and services that support older adults, including with Medicare and Medicaid providers and community-based organizations. This will build upon the achievements in the Older Americans Act and support evidence-based, cost-effective approaches that allow older adults to age in place in their communities.

Representing one of the oldest states in the country, Senator King is consistently working to address the issues facing Maine seniors. In the American Rescue Plan, which passed 50 to 49 last MarchKing secured $10 billion in broadband funding to help more Maine seniors access life-saving services like tele-health. The legislation also contained funding to quickly vaccinate older Americans, and to lower the costs of healthcare. Senator King has also worked to increase prescription drug price transparencyexpand tele-health services, and recently spoke on the Senate floor in support of expanded homecare services in the Build Back Better proposal. 

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