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Library: Policy

340:105-1-3. Background

Revised 6-1-07

     The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) set up the Special Unit on Aging in 1963, by executive order of Governor Bellmon, to work with local groups to extend already existing programs and develop new services for older Oklahomans.

(1) After Congress established the Administration on Aging to administer the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, the Governor designated the OKDHS Special Unit on Aging, now called Aging Services Division (ASD), as the sole state agency to implement Title III of the OAA, coordinate state programs and activities related to the purposes of the OAA, and receive and administer funds made available to the state.

(2) Amendments in 1972 authorized the Nutrition Program for the Elderly, then Title VII of the OAA, which provided funding for congregate nutrition programs, home delivered meals, nutrition education, and outreach services. 

(3) Amendments in 1973 resulted in the division of the state into planning and service areas and the designation of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) within these planning and service areas.  A three tiered system of federal, state, and local entities is referred to as the aging network. 

(4) Amendments in 1975 designated transportation services, home services, legal services, and home repair and renovation services as priority services.

(5) Amendments in 1978 consolidated Title III, regarding social services; Title V, regarding senior centers; and Title VII, regarding nutrition services.  Separate authorizations within Title III provided for social services, including senior centers, congregate meals, and home delivered meals.  The 1978 amendments placed increased emphasis upon advocacy for older persons and more assertive involvement in the area of long-term care.

(6) In May 1975 the OKDHS Special Unit on Aging was designated to administer Section 16(b)(2) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act as amended by Public Law 93-87, now the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act  – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Section 5310 of the Federal Transit Administration, which provides capital assistance to private non‑profit organizations for the special transportation needs of older persons and persons with disabilities in areas of the state where existing or proposed services of public and private transit operators are not adequate.

(7) Amendments in 1984 emphasized that states and AAAs give particular attention to the needs of low income and minority older persons. 

(8) Amendments in 1987 added separate authorizations of appropriations for several new programs, including disease prevention and health promotion services, in-home services for frail older persons, and prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and increased protections and visibility for the State Long‑Term Care Ombudsman Program. 

(9) Amendments in 1992 restructured the OAA to create a new Title VII designated to consolidate and expand programs that focus on protection of the rights of vulnerable older persons.

(10) The 2000 amendments consolidated programs under Part B, Supportive Services, retained the targeting provision for low income minorities and added focus on older persons residing in rural areas, and added the National Family Caregiver Support Program as a means of addressing growing needs of the nation's caregivers. 

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