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Pennsylvanians testified at hearing about the importance of programs like Meals on Wheels, senior community centers, and home- and community-based services, which are funded by the Older Americans Act

At hearing, Casey committed to fighting to keep these programs authorized and fully funded

Watch full hearing video here

Washington, D.C. - Today, at a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) highlighted how programs funded by the Older Americans Act (OAA), such as Meals On Wheels, senior community centers, and home- and community-based services, play a critical role in keeping American seniors active, healthy, and connected to their communities. Older Americans experience disproportionate levels of loneliness, isolation, and difficulty accessing meals and health care services, and OAA-funded programs provide a lifeline for seniors struggling to meet these needs. The hearing, entitled The Older Americans Act: The Local Impact of the Law and the Upcoming Reauthorization,” featured testimony from experts and Pennsylvanian beneficiaries about the importance of ensuring full funding for these vital programs. At the hearing, which comes as the Senate prepares to reauthorize the OAA, Chairman Casey laid out his top priorities for reauthorization, which include supporting states in long-term planning for senior services, substantially increasing funding for long-term care ombudsmen, who ensure the safety of nursing home residents, and increasing investments in nutrition programs.

“Since its passage, the Older Americans Act has served as the foundation for community social services for older adults—from funding Meals on Wheels to local senior centers to home and community-based caregiving,” said Chairman Casey. “These programs are vital for older adults across Pennsylvania and the Nation, and as we prepare to reauthorize the OAA, I am going to fight to ensure they get the full amount of funding that our seniors need and deserve. Our Nation’s older adults have fought in our wars, raised our children and grandchildren, and built our communities—they deserve our support as they age.”

Chairman Casey invited Janet Billotte, a resident of West Decatur, PA, and a recipient of home-delivered meals and other services from her county Area Agency on Aging. She testified about how the services provided to her by OAA-funded programs have improved her life, saying, “Last year, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and I was also caring for my husband who had been sick with many issues for a long time…Many days, I didn’t feel well and it was very helpful to have these meals delivered to us…I’m very grateful to be receiving these services, and…I know many older adults who receive Meals on Wheels are thankful like I am. I also understand that there are many more older adults on the waiting list for these services. I ask you to please help more people get into the program and be able to receive these great services.”

Watch the full hearing here.