Diverse Elders Coalition

The Older Americans Act and Diverse Elders: New Solutions for Critical Constituencies

On July 16, 2015, the Senate passed a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, an important piece of legislation that is considered the “crown jewel” of aging policy. As attention now turns to the House of Representatives, there is increased pressure to pass what has historically been bi-partisan legislation.

The Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) recognizes the vital role that the OAA plays in the delivery of services to all elders. As a coalition that works to address the unique needs of elders of color, American Indian and Alaska Native elders, and LGBT elders, we also know that the constituencies that are the most marginalized require services that meet our communities’ needs in specific ways and that cookie cutter approaches do not work. The DEC has identified specific priorities for the Congress to consider as it debates the needs and concerns of all our elders.