(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05), Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Select Education, today voted to support the bipartisan Senior Independence Act, which strengthens and renews the Older Americans Act. McMorris is a cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation (H.R. 5293) that supports the needs of America’s aging population by emphasizing consumer choice, access to reliable information, and health promotion. The bill passed with unanimous support in the Select Education Subcommittee.
“Our growing senior population deserves to have programs and services that meet their needs, such as Meals on Wheels,” said McMorris. “This legislation strengthens programs that deliver care and services and also strives to educate and engage our seniors. Case management, transportation, family caregiver support and legal assistance are just some of the services that help make the Inland Northwest a thriving and secure community for seniors.”
Today it is estimated that over 36 million people in the U.S. are over the age of 65, making it the fastest growing age group in the country. In Eastern Washington, the Older American’s Act has helped facilitate the delivery of 156,188 home meals through Meals on Wheels, 156,188 miles of volunteer transportation, legal advice for over 500 seniors, and 4,566 individuals receiving family caregiver support.
The Senior Independence Act coordinates federal programs, activities and services to identify long-term options and meet the needs of the senior citizens. The legislation promotes home and community based supports to help aging individuals avoid institution care, strengthens nutritional programs such as Meals on Wheels, and ensures that seniors remain active contributors in society by improving educational and volunteer services and safeguarding employment-based training.