Many Americans care for elderly parents or relatives as they advance into their latter years. When undertaking this responsibility, it is important to inform yourself about all the aspects of elder law and end of life law. One law that you may be unfamiliar with is the Older Americans Act, or OAA. This is federal legislation that assists people over the age of 60 years old. Learn what services are provided by the OAA, and how it provides important resources to your elderly family members.
A Quick Review of the OAA
The OAA has actually been around for several decades. It was originally passed into law in 1965. The intent of the law is to provide social services for older Americans. The law accomplishes this goal by providing grants that help the states to fund services, research and projects related to the care of the elderly population. Most recently, the law was reauthorized as the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020.
The Role of the Administration on Aging
As with most federal legislation, an agency is designated to facilitate the provisions of the OAA. The Administration of Aging (AOA) is the federal agency tasked with this role. Although you may not be familiar with this agency by name, you will likely recognize one of its most well known programs: Meals on Wheels. The Administration also provides an ombudsman for people in long-term care and employment and training opportunities for people over the age of 55.
How to Take Advantage of Services
If you know of an elderly person that can benefit from the OAA, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements as defined by your state jurisdiction. Utah's program is run by the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) which was established pursuant to 62A-3-103 of the Utah Code. This office also carries out the Adult Protective Services program which helps investigate one of the most important areas of elder law: elder abuse.
In the end, when working on end of life law issues, you must be aware of all the resources available to you. It is also important to consult with an experienced attorney to get advice about estate law and a potential guardianship. These issues should be resolved as soon as possible to ensure that your relative has a peaceful journey through his or her latter years.
For more information about elder law issues or guardianships, contact our estate attorney at TR Spencer & Associates.