Get The Facts: Older Americans Act
What is the Older Americans Act?
In 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) was passed to ensure that older people across the country have the assistance, tools, and ability to age in place, in their communities, without having to enter long-term care.
It funds programs like:
- Meals on Wheels, congregate meals, and other nutrition assistance programs
- Senior centers—like SAGE’s five senior centers across New York City
- Benefits enrollment and legal assistance to help people with Social Security Survivor benefits, Medicaid, SNAP, and more
- Transportation assistance like Access-A-Ride
The Older Americans Act does this by funding state and local departments of aging around the country, called State Units on Aging (SUA) and Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).
Entering long-term care can be extraordinarily stressful for LGBTQ+ older adults, who are at a higher risk of discrimination and often don’t have the retirement income due to long-term employment discrimination. That’s why we must make sure they have the support they need to stay in their homes and their communities for as long as possible. In 2020, SAGE successfully advocated for updates to the Older Americans Act that require aging services providers to conduct outreach to and engage with the LGBTQ+ community, determine what services are needed, and if those needs are being met.
But laws don’t implement themselves. We must build a world where LGBTQ+ older people can access services just like everyone else.
How can I get involved?
If you are an LGBTQ+ organization, individual, or other allied group who would like to take action in your community, read our guide on advocating for the needs of LGBTQ+ older adults receiving aging services.
Work for a state unit and looking to improve your state plan on aging? This info sheet is the place to start.
Work for a AAA and looking to improve your area plan on aging? This info sheet is the place to start.