AGS Applauds Important Action This Week on Geriatrics Priorities, Including Older Americans Act Becoming Law

New York (March 26, 2020)—Representing more than 6,000 healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older adults, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) commended congressional leaders and the Trump Administration for signing the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization Act of 2020 (H.R. 4334) into law.

This key legislation, which will power important social and protective services for older Americans through 2024, adds to critical and much-needed momentum for geriatrics this week in light of COVID-19, including support for workforce training programs in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package slated for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Originally passed in 1965 and last reauthorized in 2016, the Older Americans Act has been vital to health and well-being for older people. The Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 will:

  • Allow for annual increases in authorized funding, a change critical to helping programs keep pace with our country's shifting demographics.
  • Extend authorization for the RAISE Family Caregivers Act by one year.
  • Allow projects to improve the direct care workforce.
  • Modernize mechanisms for supporting better health, from coordinating with state assistive technology programs to adding or clarifying screenings and programs to improve vaccination, nutrition, social isolation, and preventive health.
  • Support a robust new research and demonstration authority for the Administration on Aging.
  • Eliminate a 10-percent cap on serving grandparents and older relative caregivers under the National Family Caregiver Support Program.

About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has—for 75 years—worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its more than 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.