First Administration on Aging Budget Request of the New Century Targets support for family caregivers, assistance for at-risk, frail elders

Jeanette C. Takamura, Assistant Secretary for Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has announced the Administration on Aging’s (AoA) FY 2001 budget request to Congress. AoA’s total request, included as part of the President’s FY 2001 Federal Budget request released on February 7, is $1.1 billion, an increase of $151 million (16%) over FY 2000.

AoA’s request recognizes the extraordinary efforts and needs of millions of family caregivers who care for older relatives. $125 million is included to provide assistance, support services and quality respite care to thousands of caregivers across the country. $325 million (an increase of $15 million) is included to increase supportive services for vulnerable and at-risk frail older persons, in particular 9.2 million older persons, mostly women, who live alone. Services included are transportation services to medical appointments, in-home chore services and services provided by adult day care centers.

“We must endeavor to prepare America for the rising longevity of its people,” said Jeanette C. Takamura, noting that the increase will help the agency and its partners of state and area agencies on aging, tribal organizations, service providers and family members respond to the needs of our nation’s growing older population. Since 1900 the number of Americans 65 and over has grown from 3 million to 34 million and is expected to double by 2030 when the last of the Baby Boomers reach the age of 65.

$24 million (an increase of $5 million) is included to address the unmet long term care needs of Native American, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian elders, many of whom are living well into their 80’s and 90’s. This increase represents the largest proposed increase in a decade from the Administration for a growing population of Native elders, and will provide critical nutritional and supportive services to them and to their caregivers.

$36 million is requested (an increase of $5 million) for AoA’s State and Local Innovations program. This program supports the initiation, testing and dissemination of evidence-based methods, programs, policies and activities of the Administration on Aging. As part of the Department’s Mental Health initiative, the increase will be used to enhance the capacity of AoA’s national aging network to refer and provide support to persons who need mental health services.

AoA’s budget request also includes $522 million for Congregate ($375 million) and Home-Delivered Meals ($147 million), $16 million for Preventive Health Services, $13 million for Protection of Vulnerable Older Americans, $6 million for the Alzheimer’s Disease Demonstration Grants to States Program, and $17 million for Program Administration.

Takamura is scheduled to testify on the Administration on Aging’s FY 2001 Budget request before the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations on Wednesday, February 9 at 10:00 a.m, following ACF.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Press release.

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