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Congresswoman Waters Marks 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act

July 14, 2015
Press Release
Calls on Congress to Reauthorize and Strengthen the Older Americans Act; Urges Support for Alzheimer’s Legislation

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, marked the 50th anniversary of the landmark Older Americans Act today.  President Lyndon Johnson signed this important law on July 14, 1965.  The Older Americans Act funds critical services that help keep older adults healthy and independent – services such as meals-on-wheels and other nutrition programs, in-home services, transportation, senior centers, elder abuse prevention, and caregiver support.


“The importance of the Older Americans Act and the services it funds for seniors, caregivers, and their families cannot be overstated,” said Congresswoman Waters. “These services help seniors stay as independent as possible in their homes and communities.  Services such as meals-on-wheels, transportation, and caregiver support have been vital for many of the seniors in my congressional district who want to be able to remain in their own homes.”

Just over the last five years, the Older Americans Act has funded:

  • More than 1 billion meals-on-wheels and congregate meals;
  • Over 130 million rides to doctor’s offices, grocery stores, and other essential places;
  • Over 60 million hours of homemaker services, allowing seniors to remain in their homes; and
  • Over 30 million hours of respite care, providing caregivers the vital rest and support they need.


“I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass legislation this year reauthorizing and strengthening the Older Americans Act,” said Congresswoman Waters. “It is the least we owe all of America’s seniors.”


As the Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, Congresswoman Waters is a leader of congressional efforts to assist older Americans who are affected by Alzheimer’s.  Together with her colleagues, Congressman Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), she has announced plans to introduce Alzheimer’s Action Now, a set of bills that together will help Alzheimer’s patients and their families; promote public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease; and encourage voluntary contributions to research efforts. Alzheimer’s Action Now has been endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and USAgainstAlzheimer’s.


“I have asked all of my colleagues to cosponsor Alzheimer’s Action Now,” said Congresswoman Waters.  “With more than five million American seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, we must do everything we can to confront this disease and help the patients and families who are struggling to live with it.”