Senator John Boozman, Peters Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Support Healthy Aging and Age-Friendly Communities

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) to introduce bipartisan legislation that would direct federal agencies to set national standards for healthy aging and creating age-friendly communities.

The Age-Friendly Communities Act would amend the Older Americans Act by requiring departments across the federal government to develop a national set of goals on healthy aging and age-friendly communities and establish a public-private coordinating body to provide recommendations and best practices for implementing those goals.

Age-friendly communities are those committed to working toward ensuring seniors have access to amenities such as housing, transportation, social and civic opportunities, volunteerism, employment, and supportive services. The national set of goals will support aging in place, as well as senior’s access to preventive and long-term care, including home-based and community-based health services and caregivers.

“According to the 2013 Census, Arkansas is ranked 10th in the nation for percentage of persons 60 and above so we certainly need to ensure our communities are prepared for the needs of a rapidly aging population. Our legislation will help bring communities together to address this challenge by creating public-private partnerships to modernize long-term care practices and increase access to preventative care services older Americans need while helping to make our communities more age-friendly across the country,” Boozman said.

“As increasingly larger generations of Michiganders and Americans enter into the later stages of adulthood and retirement, it is important to have meaningful public and private initiatives that help allow our senior citizens to continue leading healthy and independent lives. This bipartisan legislation recognizes we need a cross-sector and comprehensive approach to supporting older Americans on a community-wide basis, from transportation and affordable housing to caregiving and aging in place,” Peters said.

It is estimated that America’s senior population will expand dramatically in the coming decade. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, every member of the baby boomer generation will be older than age 65 by 2030.