Washington D.C. — Michigan Senator Gary Peters has introduced new legislation that would amend the Older Americans Act of 1965.
Peters and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Age-Friendly Communities Act last Thursday. The new bill would require federal government departments to develop a national set of goals on healthy aging and age friendly communities. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy, there will be a projected 3 million Michiganders over the age of 55 by 2020.
Legislation would establish a coordinating body with both public and private care to develop best practices for achieving set goals. Age-friendly communities are those committed to working toward ensuring their seniors have access to amenities such as housing, transportation, social and civic opportunities, volunteerism, employment, and supportive services. These communities would have a hub where seniors can receive help and information for various services like health care and transportation. Specifically, this legislation would aim to help seniors who would like to age in place.
“I know I’ve gone through this issue with elderly parents who want to stay home, and it’s unbelievably complicated to try to find home health care, to find out what transportation is available for them, all of the range of services that we need,” said Senator Peters. “It shouldn’t be that complicated ”
The bill will most likely be sent to a committee for review before it hits the house and senate floor.
“We have to make it simpler, and we have to design our communities to make sure they’re providing a friendly atmosphere for folks to age and to prosper and to live independent lives,” said Peters.