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Casey, Kelly, Gillibrand Introduce Bill to Fund Services, Combat Effects of COVID-19 for Millions of Older Adults

Continued Funding for Senior Services During COVID-19 Act Would Fund Nutrition Services, Vaccination Outreach

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are introducing the Continued Funding for Senior Services During COVID-19 Act to ensure continued federal support for our Nation’s seniors. This legislation would allocate more than $1.5 billion to the aging network to continue providing essential services, such as meal delivery, vaccine outreach and programming and caregiver support. Demand for senior services has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 93 percent of Area Agencies on Aging across the Nation reporting that they have served more clients since the pandemic began. This legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Gary Peters (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“Now more than ever, Area Agencies on Aging are providing the essential supports that older adults rely upon, helping them remain safely in their homes, stay connected to their communities and access the COVID-19 vaccine. The Continued Funding for Senior Services During COVID-19 Act will ensure older Americans can access vital supports during this dangerous pandemic,” said Senator Casey.

“The fallout of this pandemic has disparately impacted Arizona’s seniors. In a recent meeting with my Senior Citizen Advisory Group, I heard stories of seniors facing isolation, food insecurity, and issues both signing up for and getting to vaccine appointments. This emergency funding would address these issues by supporting programs and organizations that support Arizona seniors through food assistance, caregiving, transportation, and vaccine distribution,” said Senator Kelly.

“As the majority of older adults have been required to self-isolate for months in order to keep themselves safe and healthy, the need for essential nutrition, health, and caregiver resources and programs has grown exponentially,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is our job as public servants to protect our most vulnerable and we must ensure that older Americans maintain access to the critical support services they need. This legislation would bolster funding for OAA programs and address the unique challenges older Americans face during this crisis so they have help with meals, vaccine information, caregiver support, and other social services.”

The funding from the Continued Funding for Senior Services During COVID-19 Act includes $480 million for vaccination outreach and other programming, $775 million for nutrition services, $44 million for evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion services, $145 million for caregiver support services, $75.5 million to carry out demonstrations and evaluations under the Act, including funding to support multigenerational engagement, and $10 million for the long-term care ombudsman program.

Read more about the Continued Funding for Senior Services During COVID-19 Act here.