The federal Older Americans Act (OAA) funds critical services for older adults and their caregivers in Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee Counties, including Home Delivered Meals, personal care, respite for caregivers, etc. The current law expires at the end of September, which means that Congress will update the Older Americans Act to ensure that these critical programs supporting older adults and caregivers continue in Genesee Lapeer and Shiawassee Counties and around the country!
How can you help? At Valley Area Agency on Aging, we are advocating for these programs alongside our national champions in Washington, DC, and working to ensure that federal lawmakers understand how important OAA is to their constituents. However, we need YOU to help make our voices stronger! Please take a few moments to contact our elected officials to share your OAA story and educate them about these vital OAA services help older adults and caregivers in your community.
How to Take Action:
Contact Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and Representatives Dan Kildee-Genesee County, Paul Mitchell-Lapeer County, and John Moolenaar-Shiawassee County now to share your OAA story. You can use some of the sample language below in your outreach, but make sure to add details about the effect these programs have had on you and others in our community.
- Put Your Requests in Writing.
If you can, put your requests in writing via the websites of our Senators and Representatives: Senator Debbie Stabenow at http://www.stabenow.senate.gov, Senator Gary Peters at http://www.peters.senate.gov and Representatives Congressman Dan Kildee at https://dankildee.house.gov/, Congressman Paul Mitchell at https://mitchell.house.gov/ or Congressman John Moolenaar at https://moolenaar.house.gov/. Use the language below to craft your messages, but make sure to include your personal experiences about these programs.
- Reach out on Social Media.
National advocates in DC have created some sample social media messages that you can use to contact Senator Debbie Stabenow (Senator Debbie Stabenow) and Gary Peters (Senator Gary Peters) and Representative(s) Dan Kildee (Congressman Dan Kildee), Paul Mitchell (Rep. Paul Mitchell) and John Moolenaar (Rep. John Moolenaar) on Facebook to share your support for OAA and any short stories or pictures! Remember to keep your messages positive and respectful!
- Make A Few Short Phone Calls.
If you’d rather call than write our lawmakers (or feel free to do both!), this is an easy way to be heard! Use the Capitol Switchboard (202.224.3121) to reach DC offices, or look up the district office phone numbers on their websites.
Senator Debbie Stabenow – Lansing Office – 517-203-1760
Senator Gary Peter – Lansing Office – 517-377-1508
Congressman Dan Kildee – Flint Office – 810-238-8627
Congressman Paul Mitchell – Shelby Township Office – 586-997-5010
Congressman John Moolenaar – Midland Office – 989-631-2552
Sample Script:[IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS A CONSTITUENT AND SHARE ANY RELEVANT PERSONAL INFORMATION YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE SHARING. For example, “I live in the town of Fairmont with my husband who is living with Alzheimer’s. I am his primary caregiver, but he also receives in-home services from the Older Americans Act which allows us to be able to stay in our home of 45 years.”]
I am reaching out today to share with you how important the federal Older Americans Act is to me and to encourage you and your colleagues in Congress to work toward a bipartisan reauthorization of the Act before it expires in September!
Older Americans Act programs are critical to me and people like me in your state/district, and with growing numbers of older adults and more Americans living longer, we should be investing in these programs now!
Please ensure that any OAA reauthorization bill adequately funds these vital aging programs, protects the local flexibility our community already has in delivering them and makes needed investments in innovation to prepare for a rapidly growing population of older adults and their caregivers. Thank you.
For more information, contact Valley Area Agency on Aging at 810-239-7671 or the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) in Washington, DC: www.n4a.org, 202.872.0888