Washington, D.C., July 17, 2015 — The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), the leading organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adult, their families and caregivers, enthusiastically supports the passage of the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act in the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent yesterday. The Older Americans Act is critically important legislation to the U.S.’s rapidly growing senior population as it provides needed services for older adults, including meals, transportation and others.
“This is an important moment for all of America’s older adults,” said NHCOA President and CEO Dr. Yanira Cruz, “it is especially critical for diverse older adults, including Hispanics. Almost one-quarter of Hispanic older adults nationwide experience food insecurity. It is unacceptable in the U.S. for those who have worked so hard all their lives to contribute to their families, communities and nation to be facing such dire straits. The re-authorization of the Older Americans Act is an important step toward ensuring that all of America’s older adults are able to enjoy their golden years in dignity, security and in the best possible health.”
The U.S. is facing a major demographic shift in the next decades as baby boomers retire. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the aging population will almost double between 2012 and 2050, with those over age 65 comprising 83.7 million people in 2050. At the same time, the aging population will become more diverse with Hispanic older adults driving a great deal of the increased diversity among older adults. Today, Hispanic older adults account for about 8% of the aging population; by 2050, they will account for 19.8% of the nation’s older adults.
The Older Americans Act was enacted 50 years ago this year to provide needed services for America’s aging population. Well-known and important programs, such as Meals on Wheels, senior centers and senior job training, are funded through the Act. The Act has been up for reauthorization since 2011.
NHCOA is the nation’s only national organization dedicated to improving the lives of America’s Hispanic older adults, their families and caregivers. Located in Washington, D.C., NHCOA is a constituency-based organization with a formal network of Hispanic senior community-based organizations (CBOs) across the country and a network of over seven million individuals. NHCOA works on both a national and local level, implementing community-based programs through its CBO network, as well as engaging in national studies and advocacy.