Older Americans Act: Programs and Funding Page: 2 of 6
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school-based meals and multigenerational activities, and supportive activities for caretakers
- have never been funded. Title III services are available to all seniors but are targeted
to those with the greatest economic and social need, particularly low-income minority
seniors. Means testing is prohibited. Participants are encouraged to make voluntary
contributions for services.
Funding for supportive services, congregate and home-delivered nutrition services,
and in-home services for the frail elderly is allocated to states by AoA based on each
state's relative share of the total population of persons aged 60 years and over. States are
required to award funds for the local administration of these programs to area agencies on
aging. USDA provides commodities or cash-in-lieu of commodities to states, in
conjunction with these programs, based on the number of meals served under the program.
The Title III nutrition program is the Act's largest program. FY1998 funding of
$626 million represents 43% of the Act's total funding and 65% of Title III funds. Most
recent data show that in FY1995 the program provided 242 million meals to over 3.4
million older persons. Fifty-one percent of the meals were provided in congregate settings,
such as senior centers and 49% were provided to frail older persons in their homes.
Data from a national evaluation of the nutrition program show that compared to the
total elderly population, nutrition program participants are older and more likely to be
poor, to live alone, and to be members of minority groups. They are also more likely to
have health and functional limitations that place them at nutritional risk. The report found
the program plays an important role in participants' overall nutrition and that meals
consumed by participants are their primary source of daily nutrients. The evaluation also
indicated that for every federal dollar spent, the program leverages on average $1.70 for
congregate meals and $3.35 for home-delivered meals.
The supportive services and centers program provides funds to states for a wide array
of social services and activities of approximately 6,400 multipurpose senior centers. The
most frequently provided services are transportation, information and assistance, home
care, and recreation. In FY1995, the program provided about 40 million rides, responded
to over 12 million requests for information and assistance, and provided about 15 million
home care (i.e., personal care, homemaker, or chore) services.
Research, Training, and Demonstration Program. Title IV of the Act authorizes
the Assistant Secretary for Aging to award funds for training, research, and demonstration
projects in the field of aging. Funds are to be used to expand knowledge about aging and
the aging process and to test innovative ideas about services and programs for older
persons. Title IV has supported a wide range of projects, including community-based
long-term care, Alzheimer's disease support services, and career preparation and
continuing education in the field of aging.
Senior Community Service Employment Program. Title V of the Act authorizes
the establishment of a program to provide opportunities for part-time employment in
community service activities for unemployed, low-income older persons who have poor
employment prospects. The program has three goals: to provide employment
opportunities for older persons; to create a pool of persons who provide community
services; and to supplement the income of low-income older persons (income below 125%
of the federal poverty level). Enrollees work in a variety of community service activities
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Older Americans Act: Programs and Funding, report, March 27, 1998; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808696/m1/2/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.