Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet a person's health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.
Long-term care is provided in different places by different caregivers, depending on a person's needs. Most long-term care is provided at home by unpaid family members and friends. It can also be given in a facility such as a nursing home or in the community, for example, in an adult day care center.
People often need long-term care when they have a serious, ongoing health condition or disability. The need for long-term care can arise suddenly, such as after a heart attack or stroke. Most often, however, it develops gradually, as people get older and frailer or as an illness or disability gets worse.
(National Institute on Aging, 2021).
UCOA Policy Position:
All Utahns will have access to affordable and compassionate long-term services to meet their individual needs along with educational materials and programs about long term care issues.
Research and Education
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Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for older persons. The original legislation established authority for grants to states for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging. The law also established the Administration on Aging (AoA) to administer the newly created grant programs and to serve as the federal focal point on matters concerning older persons.
Although older individuals may receive services under many other federal programs, today the OAA is considered to be a major vehicle for the organization and delivery of social and nutrition services to this group and their caregivers. It authorizes a wide array of service programs through a national network of 56 state agencies on aging, 618 area agencies on aging, nearly 20,000 service providers, 281 Tribal organizations, and 1 Native Hawaiian organization representing 400 Tribes. The OAA also includes community service employment for low-income older Americans; training, research, and demonstration activities in the field of aging; and vulnerable elder rights protection activities.
The links below offer a compilation of the OAA, an outline of changes made to the OAA at the most recent reauthorization (2020) and other related sources of information/data.
2020 Reauthorization of the OAA
The Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 reauthorizes programs for FY 2020 through FY 2024. It includes provisions that aim to remove barriers to the aging network increasing business acumen and capacity building, provide states and localities with the flexibility of deciding the allocation of National Family Caregiver Services between the populations served, and extends authorization of the RAISE Family Caregiver Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act by one additional year.
Long-term care can provide older adults the help they need to remain living independently (aging in place). Learn about the different options available for long-term care.