Older Iowans Legislature Has Success in Recent SessionWritten by Theresa Rose on July 29, 2016
Older Iowans will be the beneficiaries of several pieces of legislation which were promoted by members of the Older Iowans Legislature (OIL).
OIL, an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit organization advocated for an additional $1 million in funding for the one-stop resource program LifeLong Links operated by the six Area Agencies on Aging. This funding establishes a foundation on which this much used program can operate and build upon in the future. Lifelong Links is a service which guides Iowa’s seniors, those living with disabilities, and caregivers to services available to help them achieve a quality of life which allows individuals to remain in their homes as long as possible.
The Iowa General Assembly and the Governor also approved a $61,334 increase for an Elder Abuse Specialist, a $20,000 increase for the Office of Substitute Decision Maker and $100,000 for a Medicaid Manage Care Ombudsman.
The Older Iowans Legislature’s advocacy for these resources for Iowa’s seniors began las September when members from across the state met for two days in the Iowa House Chamber at the State Capitol. The delegates discussed the challenges facing Iowa’s seniors and zeroed in on three issues which they felt would improve the “quality of life” for Iowa’s seniors. Beginning last January OIL members contacted their elected representatives to promote passage of these bills.
Helene Magee, Dubuque, OIL chair, said, “Funding for these programs is a sign that the Legislature is aware of the challenges Iowa faces as the “Baby Boomer” population ages.” She continued, “OIL members would like to thank the Legislature and the Governor for stepping up to the plate to fund these programs at a time when the state faced a tight budget and the challenges of switching the
State’s Medicaid program to managed care.”
The Older Iowans Legislature invites all Iowans over the age of 50 to come to Des Moines this September 26 and 27 to meet in the House Chamber. Delegates will sit in a legislator’s chair and have the opportunity to voice their opinion on what they want OIL to advocate on their behalf to the Governor and to the 2017 session of the Iowa General Assembly.
The Older Iowans Legislature participates in the “Elevate Aging” Coalition which includes the Iowa Association of the Area Agencies on Aging, AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, The Hale Group, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Iowa CareGivers, Jewish Family Services, Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the Iowa Department on Aging.