What is the Older Americans Act (OAA)?

Older Americans Act


Passed in 1965, the Older Americans Act, or OAA, is one of the most important pieces of legislation affecting elderly adults in the U.S. The act not only established a number of different programs designed to serve seniors’ needs, but it also provides funding for services that help older Americans live healthful and independent lives.

Programs Created by the OAA

The OAA created some programs upon its enactment. These programs include the following listed below.

  • Administration on Aging
  • National Family Caregiver Support Program
  • The Community Service Senior Opportunities Act
  • The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program

What’s more, the act also helped to establish services in regard to elder abuse and neglect, nutrition, health promotion, employment, disabilities, transportation, home care, legal aid, etc.

The OAA and Nursing Homes

One of the major components of the OAA is in regard to nursing home care. The act is meant to provide services to seniors (like the ones named above) that allow them to live healthful and independent lives outside of nursing home facilities. The act is also intended to protect against elder abuse, which often results in the necessity of nursing home care.

While nursing homes can be extremely advantageous for elderly adults, they’re also very expensive. In fact, AARP reports that the average cost of a private room in a nursing home in nearly $88,000 per year. The act also addresses the rights of nursing home residents in terms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation prevention.

As stated above, the OAA also established the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program. The Ombudsman program advocates for nursing home residents and exists in all states.

Volunteers and staff members for the program work closely with nursing home residents and their families, acting as a voice for those who are unable to speak. Advocacy may be for some things, ranging from quality of life to building hazards to nursing home abuse to better food for nursing home residents. One of the common tips on choosing a good nursing home is to review the building and food choices yourself before admitting a relative.

When Older Americans Don’t Receive the Services that They Should

Older Americans deserve access to quality healthcare and other services. When a nursing home resident is abused, a violation of human rights and the law has occurred.

If you’re the representative of an abused elderly adult, you can file a medical malpractice claim for damages if the damage occurred within a nursing home or was at the hands of another medical professional. To learn more about the OAA and nursing home abuse cases, call Cordisco & Saile LLC, LLC at 215-642-2335 now.