IN THIS ISSUE
Aging policy update
APA’s Public Interest Government Relations Office (PI-GRO) attended briefings with key leaders of the new Administration for Community Living (ACL), including Kathy Greenlee, administrator of the ACL and assistant secretary for Aging, and Henry Claypool, principal deputy administrator of the ACL and senior advisor to the secretary for Disability Policy. The ACL brings together the Administration on Aging (AoA), the Office on Disability (OD), and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD). The formerly independent administrations have not changed functionally; programs will be administered and maintained consistently and the formation of the ACL is not associated with increased resources or expansion of programs. However, the ACL aims to more efficiently and cohesively manage ‘integrated programs’ and institutionalizes a robust policy perspective to address population needs and to secure growth opportunities. ACL leadership is in the process of drafting a formal policy agenda to improve supports for seniors and people with disabilities, and has publicly recognized the importance of partnering with mental health services and providers to ensure that mental health is represented in ACL endeavors.
APA continues to advocate for mental health and caregiving priorities in the Older Americans Act by urging key congressional appropriators to support funding for critical family caregiving programs. PI-GRO staff also met with legislators regarding the upcoming reauthorization of the Older Americans Act to encourage their support of APA mental health and family caregiving priorities, as well as geriatric education and training initiatives.