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Video: Kaine, Virginia Witnesses Emphasize Need to Reauthorize Older Americans Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced two witnesses from Virginia at a HELP hearing regarding the need to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) , which provides nutritional services, family caregiver support, long-term care programs, and more to older Americans, helping them age in their homes and communities. The population of older Americans is growing rapidly, which is increasing the number of people who rely on this legislation.

The hearing’s witnesses included Dorothy Hutchins, a 93 year old from Alexandria, and Dr. Martha (Marti) Kubik, a Professor at the George Mason University College of Public Health. Hutchins relies on OAA services, including home-delivered meals, to help maintain her independence. Dr. Kubik is a behavioral epidemiologist and advanced practice nurse with over 20 years of community-based primary care practice experience and has extensively researched health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan.

“Every Virginian, regardless of their age or where they live, deserves to age with dignity. I’m thankful to Mrs. Hutchins and Dr. Kubik for joining the HELP Committee to share more about how the Older Americans Act helps us deliver on that promise,” said Kaine. “I’m excited to be part of the bipartisan working group to reauthorize this important legislation, and will continue to do all that I can to support our older adults.”

“Thanks to my family’s support and services provided to me by the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, I am able to be independent and continue to live in my own home,” said Hutchins. “I'm also blessed not to have serious health problems. Everyone deserves a chance to live where they choose. And for most of us, we want to remain in our homes and communities. The services provided under the Older Americans Act makes that possible for me and many other seniors. I hope that Congress will continue to support this important work.”  

“The congregate nutrition services section of the OAA provides seniors a nutritious meal in a familiar and easy to reach community setting. As a result, we have unique, national network of trusted gathering places for seniors. Expanding services at these sites to address the increasingly complex health and social needs of a burgeoning aging population, most with multiple chronic conditions, is one approach to help seniors age well and age in place,” said Dr. Kubik. “…The time is right to expand services for the older adults that access community dining sites and senior centers and the congregate meal program.”

Broadcast-quality video of remarks by Kaine, Mrs. Hutchins and Dr. Kubik is available here.