CHHSM Joins National Call for Better Care for Older Adults

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UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) joined LeadingAge and 11 other national faith-based organizations that serve older adults in a call for President Biden to create a White House Office on Aging Policy to deliver focused, effective coordination of the country’s many aging-related federal programs. CHHSM President and CEO Jamar Doyle signed a public letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris, which was released May 12, during Older Americans Month.

The letter notes that every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65, and that nearly one in every ten adults over 65 lives below the poverty level. Americans are blessed to live longer. But the nation is not ready to handle the surge of older adults or to deliver even the basic care and support many older adults will need.

“At present, older adults must navigate between over two dozen federal agencies to access the care and benefits vital to their health and wellbeing, a system that is often confusing, time consuming, and redundant.” said CHHSM President and CEO Jamar Doyle reflecting on the decision to sign. “Therefore, CHHSM is proud to join LeadingAge and our faith-based colleagues in advocating for a more comprehensive, considered approach to how older adults receive benefits and care.”

The U.S. is ill-prepared for this demographic shift, in part, because the many federal programs serving older adults have evolved without overarching leadership and coordination. Today, responsibilities within the federal government for policies related to older adults are spread across more than 25 agencies. This results in severely inadequate support, with redundancies, gaps, and conflicting eligibility requirements. Families—frequently under stress to find support quickly—are left to navigate all this on their own. 

Millions of Americans will benefit from a strong, visible White House Office on Aging Policy to make consistent and more accessible the many aging-related federal programs and benefits. LeadingAge first issued this request in December and again in May. Now, during Older Americans Month, we unite with other organizations of faith to amplify the call for this important Office.

Read the letter online here.

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