Each New York elder law attorney at our firm understands that maximizing the quality of life for local seniors requires both proper individual planning and common sense elder law policy proposals at the local, state, and federal levels. On the planning side, all local residents should visit with a New York elder care lawyer to prepare for disability, save taxes from Medicaid costs, and deal with similar issues. When it comes to policy, it is helpful to stay up to date with changes that are being proposed which may affect the lives of seniors. One of the key governmental bodies related to these issues is the U.S. Special Committee on Aging. This Senate committee has been at the center of all important federal elder law issues over the past half century.
Last week the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) issued a special proclamation honoring the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Special Committee on Aging. NAELA, a nationwide group of elder law attorneys, also co-sponsored an event in Washington D.C. honoring the committee’s achievements.
The Special Committee was first created in 1961 as a central national clearinghouse to discuss and deliberate on a wide range of issues that affect senior citizens. Over the years the committee has been involved in any number of senior issues, from health care problems and elder financial exploitation to retirement security and nursing home abuse. In recent years the Special Committee on Aging has led the way in passage of the Elder Justice Act, Older Americans Act, and a wide range of issues seeking to improve the care at long-term skilled nursing facilities. Last year the committee brought national attention to senior housing issues during its hearing entitled “Continuing Care, Retirement Communities: Secure Retirement or Risky Investment?” In recent years the Committee served as the center of other important debates such as during the hearings “Exploitation of Seniors: America’s Ailing Guardianship System” and “Sound Policy, Smart Solutions: Saving Money in Medicaid.”
The overall mission of all those public officials on the committee and the advocates who testify before it is improving the quality of life for older Americans. The committee’s mission has taken on even greater importance in recent years as a larger and larger percentage of Americans become seniors with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. Many advocates have warned that housing options for seniors and access to appropriate healthcare will gain even more importance nationwide in the coming years. The U.S. Special Committee on Aging will undoubtedly play a central role in understanding those issues and figuring out possible policy solutions.
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