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on the prevention of elder abuse. The recent remarks by the Secretary offer hope for strengthening the family and community to promote elder care and to prevent elder abuse.
We have begun to use the term "elder care" to more easily convey to the lay person the concept of caregiving for older persons. The term has gained wide acceptance outside the aging community. We know that the business community is using it to describe specific types of services. The broader concept we are trying to promote is the concept of caregiving for all Americans. We must position the network to be in the forefront of this elder care movement.
The National Eldercare Campaign is more than an initiative. It is a movement to promote caring and greater elder care for America's seniors who are at risk today. Our network can play a greater role in working with other public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions including those not focused solely on aging issues. We must develop coalitions from all segments of each community to focus on outreach to the vulnerable elderly.
Shortly, I will provide resources to our network of State and Area Agencies to assist them in being at the forefront of the elder care movement by establishing coalition building efforts in select communities through the National Eldercare's Project Care movement.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear here today and look forward to implementing the current provisions of the Act and the new 1991 amendments to the Act. Secretary Sullivan has sent a clear message to the field of aging by removing the Administration on Aging from the Office of Human Development Services and creating a separate operating component within the Office of the Secretary.
I will continue to report to the Secretary on all matters related to older persons. I believe that the Commissioner on Aging's position within the Department has been strengthened by the Secretary's recent action and by the Department's ongoing plans to strengthen the staffing and technical assistance capacity of the Administration on Aging. Thank you.
Chairman ROYBAL. Thank you, Dr. Berry.
JOYCE T. BERRY, PH.D.
U.S. COMMISSIONER ON AGING
ADMINISTRATION ON AGING
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGING
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
APRIL 25, 1991
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee on Human
Resources and Members of the Select Committee on Aging, I very
much appreciate the opportunity to be here with you and with the
other witnesses who will be presenting testimony as you continue the
important process of reauthorizing and extending the Older Americans
Act. My testimony will respond to some of the issues which you
have identified in your invitation to participate in the hearing, and I
will be happy to respond to any further questions which you may
Since October 1, 1987, the Administration on Aging has had a
direct reporting relationship to the Secretary of Health and Human
Services. I am now pleased to inform you that on April 15, 1991,
the Secretary announced that the Administration on Aging will be a
separate operating component within the Office of the Secretary. The
reorganization which was announced April 15, 1991 by HHS
Secretary Louis W. Sullivan, M.D. also established a newly created
Administration for Children and Families, designed to consolidate
many of the child and family programs administered by HHS.
I am, of course, very pleased with Secretary Sullivan's action
which brings together all of the programs serving children and
families and places greater attention and emphasis on the needs of
older Americans. I can think of no better way to get off to an early
start on the May celebration of Older Americans Month than for the
Administration on Aging to assume its new status within the Office of
I know, in light of the series of hearings which you have held,
that you have already given substantial thought to areas which need
attention in a reauthorized Older Americans Act. I, too, have given a
great amount of thought and careful consideration to what reshaping
or refinement of the legislation is most needed at this time. I can not
discuss the specifics of the Administrations' bill with you while it is
being developed; however I am pleased to provide you with
information on the general directions in which we hope to move and
can tell you
that what comes forward to you from the Administration
will not be the result of a "business as usual" mind-set.
Over the past year, we in the "aging community" have given new
and unprecedented discussion and debate to key issues relating to how
we can make the available resources go farthest in serving all older
people, while making certain that those who are in greatest need are
adequately targeted and provided with the needed services. This
debate continues, and you will, I expect, hear evidence of this today.
While approaches may differ somewhat from organization to
organization, our goals are most assuredly the same -- to provide a
decent quality of life for our elderly citizens, particularly those in
Because I think the debate is healthy, I would like to share with
you what I have heard to date, from my perspective as U.S.
Commissioner on Aging.