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Push to Reauthorize Older Americans Act

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
Push to Reauthorize Older Americans Act

BIG FLATS (WENY) -- They're our parents, grandparents, and to some, great-grandparents: Senior citizens. 19,339 senior citizens live in Chemung County, making up 22 percent of the population.
     Today, they spoke out and listened up about programs that they rely on everyday. Programs like nutrition, transportation, and community involvement. They all fall under the Older Americans Act and are up for reauthorization. The bill expired in 2011 is typically written for five years.
     "I have a friend that receives services at home and I it think it is wonderful it's provided," said Charlotte Pickelhoupt. "That way she can stay home, because both kids live out of town and that makes it very difficult for people."
     Charlotte Pickelhoupt and her husband John, both AARP members stand behind their organization--that recently announced support of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the bill.
     "We have too many things thrown at us that we as older people do not understand," said John. "And this is where we have the frustration, to try to find out where you can get the right kind of help to answer your questions."
     Congressman Reed, learned what services need to be focused on and potentially expanded here locally.
     "The conversation today was a lot about priorities, making sure there was awareness of the needs and how we're going to stretch the dollar further," said Congressman Reed.
     Reed said he's making coordinating services-- like sharing information-- a priority. He says the reauthorization gives seniors certainty these programs will be available for the years to come.