USA - 24.09.2009 - von diverse
The USA legislated a specific law regarding the rights of older persons as such: On July 14, 1965 the Older Americans Act (AoA) was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. It established the Administration on Aging within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
Title XVIII covering Medicare and title XIX covering Medicaid were also signed into law in 1965.
In 1967 the Age Discrimination Act was signed into law. That year also saw the AoA moved into a newly created Social and Rehabilitative Service Agency within the Department. In 1973 an amendment to the OAA established Area Agencies on Aging. A new Title V in the Act authorized grants to local community agencies for multi-purpose senior centers. In 1974 Amendments to the Social Security Act under Title XX authorized grants to states for social services. In 1978 OAA amendments required each state to establish a long-term care ombudsman program to cover nursing homes. In 1987 the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act provided for nursing home reform in the area of nurse aide training, survey and certification procedures, pre-admission screening and annual review for persons with mental illness. The Nursing Home Reform Act also required that nursing facility residents have "direct and immediate access to ombudspersons when protection and advocacy services become necessary".
The position of Commissioner of Aging was elevated to Assistant Secretary for Aging within the Department of Health and Human Services in 1993. On May 6, 1993 Fernando M. Torres-Gil was sworn in as the first Assistant Secretary for Aging.
For nearly forty years, the Older Americans Act has expressed the nation's commitment to protecting vulnerable older Americans at risk.
The Older Americans Act is the major vehicle for the organization and delivery of supportive and nutrition services to older persons, authorizing funding for programs including SCSEP, Meals on Wheels, elder abuse prevention activities, and a new National Family Caregiver Support Program.
SCSEP, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, is the only Federally sponsored job creation program targeted to low-income older Americans. The program subsidizes part-time community service jobs for low-income persons age 55 years and older who have poor employment prospects.
Approximately 100,000 program enrollees annually work in a wide variety of community service jobs, including nurse's aides, teacher aides, librarians, clerical workers and day care assistants.
Clearly, SCSEP benefits not only its program participants, but also the communities in which they serve. The Department of Labor allocates funds to operate the program to State agencies on aging and 10 national organizations. SCSEP grantees are represented on State and local business-led boards (Workforce Investment Boards) that provide strategic planning and oversight of workforce development activities, established under the bipartisan Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA).
As the baby boom generation ages, the demand for employment and training services and income support for low-income older persons will substantially increase.
The Urban Institute projects that there will be 1.4 million more disadvantaged adults over the age of 55 in the year 2005 than in 1995. Low-income seniors generally must continue working, which will put added strain on workforce investment resources and the One-Stop system, which provides a single point of contact for job seekers and employers seeking information about local workforce development activities.
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