NHPCO Supports Senate Passage of Older Americans Act Reauthorization
For Immediate Release
March 5, 2020
(Alexandria, VA) – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is pleased to see the passage of the bipartisan Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 (H.R. 4334) in the Senate. This bill would reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2024.
The legislation includes multiple provisions for caregivers, including extending the authorization for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, which seeks to provide information, education, training supports, referral, and care coordination services and respite options for family caregivers. It also updates the National Family Caregiver Support program, which provides grants to states and territories to fund various supports that help family and informal caregivers care for older adults in their homes for as long as possible.
Additionally, the Senate version of the bill includes the Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act, which was introduced last year by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Doug Jones (D-AL). This language would ensure the availability of certain programs and services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease by allowing patients younger than age 60 to access to these essential services.
Hospice and palliative care providers are caring for an increasing number of patients with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s which is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. In 2017, 13.9% of Medicare beneficiaries who were hospice decedents had a principal diagnosis of dementia, according to NHPCO’s Facts & Figures report.
“Family caregivers for their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia often feel overwhelmed and need additional resources. This bill would provide needed extra support for those caregivers. We applaud Senator Collins and her colleagues for their leadership on supporting programs for aging Americans,” NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach said.
Vice President, Communications