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death-the only occasion which could make possible their return, at least for burial-to the homeland they have known all their lives. In the absence of a nursing home, operated for their care, there are no alternatives. But even if we had a nursing home it would still need to be certified by the State and would operate under State rules.
Programs of home care now almost non existent are nearly impossible to develop to an adequate degree because of the various conditions on reservations which are not similar to the conditions in densely populated metropolitan areas.
Developing programs for services for the elderly present problems which are not covered by "guidelines". This is further complicated by funding which is through the State whose agency may or may not recognize what program development on a reservation might entail, or who may have a very limited and narrow experience working with Tribal groups.
For example in our case which shares these elements in common with several other tribes there are several things to consider: Size of reservation : Papago encompasses an area of 3 million acres in the State of Arizona. Its population about 10,000 is spread throughout this acreage. The population is scattered over a wide area, and road conditions are poor; there are practically no paved roads, and vehicles are at a premium, constantly breaking down because of the distances and road conditions. Most service agencies are located in Sells, which is not central to the Reservation, and not easily accessible. Distances to clinics, hospitals, and even shopping centers, are great, and travel is often made diificuit by weather conditions.
Housing is a major problem, with more than two-thirds of the individual homes considered well below minimum standards. Many Papago houses are built of adobe, which is vulnerable to hard rains; frequently, walls and roofs will erode and collapse. Some homes do not have electricity, and the majority do not have running water-water must frequently be hauled to the home, wood gathered and hauled, and then chopped before a cooking fire can be started. Such obviously makes a condition of physical environment which is impossible for survival for even moderately handicapped individuals, let alone those confronted with the multiple concurrent chronic illnesses and impairments which are so much a part of the aging process. The absence of suitable transportation, long distances, isolated villages, poor telephone communications, roads unsuitable in unfavorable weather conditions, chronic illnesses, inadequate health care, further complicates the total perspective of the way in which this age group can have meaningful services delivered to them at the time they require them.
In spite of these obstacles and in spite of meeting initial resistance from the State agency, the Papago Tribe continues to be committed to finding better alternatives for serving their "wise ones."
The Papago Tribe does not receive any State funds for services to the elderly. In 1972, and the following years we submitted several proposals to the State for a homemaker program. For two years the proposals were bandied back and forth between the Bureau on Aging and the Pima Council on Aging, and we sat by observing the game being played. Their delay tactics only served to create more barriers and suspicions between us and the State. The Tribe made several attempts to work with the State and even met with the Governor's Aide to present our problems and request planning funds. The Regional office did not support our positions and seemed unwilling to actively advocate for the Tribe. After several attempts to get some kind of decision about our proposals made, the Tribe requested a top level meeting in March of 1974, with Commissioner Flemming of the Administration on Aging, to discuss the situation with him, and to create an awareness of how this State was dealing with the Tribe. At this meeting we stated to the Commissioner that the only feasible solution seems to lie in getting the Older Americans Act changed, providing direct funding to Tribes as large amounts of money was being allocated to the States, and Tribes were realizing minimal benefits. After this meeting, attitudes seemed to change, and the State stated they wished to cooperate fully with us. The Tribe requested and received special funds from Administration on Aging to get the homemaker program started. This alternative is only temporary, and is not a permanent solution to the problem in getting permanent services for the elderly established.
The Tribe has been unsuccessful in trying to get funding from the Administration on Aging or the State to develop a comprehensive reservation wide plan for services to the elderly. We will continue our endeavors as we feel it imperative to have a well documented plan that lays out various Tribal alternatives both for short and long range needs in the areas of the elderly. Until the Tribe has such a plan, it will find itself responding in an unplanned and unorganized crises oriented manner to the problems of the elderly.
After the meeting with Commissioner Flemming, the State realized that the Papago Tribe was not going to be diverted from its goals in obtaining Tribally oriented, and Tribally controlled services for their elderly. In late spring, the Tribe was offered some State funds under Title VII, to begin a nutrition program for the elderly. After much deliberation, the Executive Health Staff recommended to the Tribal Chairman that such funds be refused and turned down the offer of $47,000. These funds were rejected because we felt that acceptance of them would jeopardize the position of the Tribe in terms of working towards establishing direct funding mechanisms.
The experiences we have had in trying to work with the State and Counts level have been frustrating and time consuming. These experiences have only served to reinforce our belief that Tribes must continue to advocate for direct funding, and must not be trapped by offers of money by the State. In the end. the State uses Indians to get money from the Federal government, but soon forgets them when the money comes in.
After two years of continuous communication and some battles, the State Bureau on Aging and the Pima Council on Aging have changed their attitude and are supporting the Papago Tribe in their decision to work toward getting the Older Americans Act of 1965 revised so that Tribes receive direct federal funding. While supporting our position however, the Bureau on Aging is proposing that an Indian Desk be established in their office, and that funds under State adninistration be earmarked specifically for Tribes. We view this as a strategy by the State to continue receiving and administering federal funds for Tribally operated programs, while at the same time appearing to advocate for and be more responsive to American Indians. We do not support this proposal as we still maintain funds should come directly to Tribes without State Clearinghouse review or approval.
We have attempted to give you a brief resume of our experience with a State agency. The Papago Tribe believes that our problems with the State in regards to the Older Americans Act are not unique. Other Tribes in Arizona have experienced difficulty, but often feel obligated to accept State controlled money in order to provide more income or employment to their people. In doing this the Tribes may not fully realize the future impact this could have, not recognizing that hy accepting State funds they are ultimately supporting the attempts of the Federal government to put more money in the hands of the State, and thereby strengthening the power of the State.
We are convinced that the Older Americans Act of 1965 must be revised or Tribes will continue to be at the mercy of the State in securing funding for the elderly, and will be jeopardizing Tribal sovereignty and self determination. We recommend that a special title be written into the Act of 1975, which specifies direct funding for Tribes, and recognizes Tribes as Sovereign Governments.
RETIRED SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM.
Ramsey County, North Dakota, January 30, 197.). Hon. JOIN BRADEMAS, Committee on Aging, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR ('ONGRESSMAN BRADEMAS: I ain writing this letter to share some thoughts with you regarding the future of the Retiren Senior Volunteer Program (RSIT).
I am presently the director of the RSVP program in Ramsey County, North Dakota. Ours was one of the eleven pilot RSVP programs in the United States and the first in the Denver Region.
I developed this RSVP and have been its director since its beginning four rears ago. I also have assisted ACTION in helping train several hundred ner RSIP directors in various workshops across the l'nited States. I have maintained personal contact with several of these other directors since helping them develop their new programs.
I also am a former Peace Corps Volunteer and quite familiar with ACTION and its contituent programs.
I would make the following observations and recommendations:
(1) The focus of RSVP is on the older person as a volunteer and the needs of these older persons. RSVP would thus be more appropriately placed under the Administration on Aging (AOA).
(2) Most of the local RSVP cooperative efforts in the midwest have been with other aging programs, not with other ACTION volunteer programs, thus, the move to AoA would promote further this cooperation.
(3) RSVP needs funding at the 75%-90% level, similar to other aging programs, not the ultimate 50% level of ACTION. If not, many RSVP programs will be forced to close down, or an over legitimate effort placed on fund-raising by staff members.
(4) ACTION staff have not appeared generally to be concerned about the special needs of older volunteers. Rather, they seem more concerned about numbers, forms, etc., placing program responsibility on local grantees, and have been of little help to our programs here in North Dakota and in several other states. New national and regional program staff people are needed who are knowledgeable and concerned about the abilities and needs of older persons.
(5) RSVP has established its own identity : : . a great identity in most communities. If switched to the AOA, RSVP should be identified as a separate titled program and not combined with Title III, VII, or other programs.
(6) ACTION can stand on its own merits without RSVP and should not assume that it has been responsible for the great success of RSVP ... the success lies in the talents and abilities of our senior volunteers.
Thank you for your efforts and interest in our older citizens. If I can provide other information that could be of use to you, please let me know. Sincerely,
RODGER W. WETZEL,
RETIRED SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM,
Rochester, V.Y., January 31, 1975.
Hon. BARBER B. COXABLE,
DEAR SIR : As you consider the renewal and amendment of the Older Americans Act you should consider the repositioning of RSVP to the Adininistration on Aging. When New York State ('ongressman Ogden Reid introduced the legislation to extend SERVE to a nationwide RSVP, it became Title VI-OAA. This was a significant new program focused on senior citizens and their need for continned involvement and sense of satisfaction. It was at the 1971 White House ('onference on Aging that RSVP was expanded to its present level.
Clearly from its inception and by its intent RSVP is a service program for and by seniors. It should then be plugged into the national aging service system, i.e. the Titles of the Older Americans Act and the Administration on Aging.
This direct linkage would enhance RSVP nationally by tying it in with the planning and development of the other OAA Titles, especially Titles III and VII. It would give RSVP national and regional staff who would be specialists in aging programming. It would most likely stabilize RSVP funding at a standard formula of 90/100% or 75/2.5%, a formula which would ensure program success. It would be possible for RSVP to be contracted for by state agencies on aging and could ensure some state responsibility and commitment to the program.
RSVP is a significant program with grants in 660 counties and involving orer 120,000 senior volunteers whose average age is over 70 years. It deserves your attention Peacefully,
DANIEL M. MEYERS, Director.
AssOCIATION FOR GERONTOLOGY IN HIGHER EDUCATION,
February 14. 197.7. Hon. JOHN BRADEMAS, Chairman, House Select Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Labor
and Education, Rayburn House Office Building. Ilashington, D.C'. DEAR CONGRESSMAN BRADEMAS: It has recently come to my attention that President Ford has sent to the Congress a request for rescission of 42 million dollars which the Congress had appropriated to the Administration on Aging (R 75–79). Included in this amount is the full appropriation of eight million dollars for Title IV-A, Training, of the Older Americans Comprehensive Services Amendments of 1973.
A year ago I testified before you in a hearing, to which you invited the Senate Special Committee on Aging, in regard to the crises universities and colleges were then facing in regard to the failure of the Administration to include training in its proposed Fiscal 1975 budget. Through your efforts and those of other members of the House and Senate, the Congress included in its appropriations the eight million dollars for training. You will recall I testified before you on the lack of support on the part of the Administration for training despite the fact that there are pervasive needs throughout the United States for trained persons to serve the elderly and within higher education there is a need to develop curricula to prepare persons for careers in the field of aging. Because of only recent attention to the needs of the aging and the development of research and educational programs, these programs are exceedingly vulnerable.
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, which comprises more than 50 universities and colleges throughout the United States, attempting to develop educational commitments and resources to better meet the needs of our aging, urge that you and your Committee not approve this rescission. In addition, President Ford's proposed budget for fiscal 1976, which was submitted to the Congress on February 3, 1975, contains no request for Title IV-A training monies for either career or short term training, neither does it include monies for Title IV-C, multidisciplinary centers of gerontoloy.
Again, we would urge that you and your Committee give leadership for the inclusion of monies in the 1976 budget for such training and educational needs. At this time we are facing major crises in higher education and the place of gerontology in curricula, and because of its recency, is most vulnerable. Further, in order to appropriately plan for faculty resources and to support student needs, it is critical that we do not delay reversing this decision request.
If I can provide you with any additional information in regard to the needs in the area of training, please do not hesitate to let me know. Yours sincerely,
WALTER M. BEATTIE, Jr.,
WESTERN MONTANA AREA AGENCY ON AGING,
Kalispell, Mont., January 28, 1975. Hon. JOHN BRADEMAS, Representative from Indiana, House of Representatives, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. BRADEMAS : It is my understanding a hearing on the location of the ACTION programs which relate to Older Americans is imminent. In order to unify efforts in serving Older Americans, we would like to support the consolidation of ACTION under the Administration on Aging.
I am sure you are aware of the fact that aging programs under Title III of the Older Ameri ans Comprehensive Service Amendment are comprehensive: and, in fact, could include volunteer activities. It seems appropriate that ACTION could be administered more effectively and economically under the Administration on Aging. Sincerely,
JERRIE LYNN PERETTO,
STATE OF OKLAHOMA,
OKLAHOMA PUBLIC WELFARE COMMISSION, DEPARTMENT OF INSTITUTIONS, OCIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES,
Oklahoma City, Okla., February 3, 1975. Hon. JOHN BRADEMAS, Chairman, Select Subcommittee on Education, Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, D.C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN BRADEMAS: We are pleased to learn that consideration is heing given to the transfer of R.S.V.P. (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) under Title VI of the Older Americans Act from ACTION back to the Administration on Aging.
Oklahoma has 12 such programs in the state, eight of which are operating in areas where there is an Area Agency on Aging. There is considerable interaction of R.S.V.P., Title III and Title VII programs in some areas. One Area Agency where R.S.V.P. is in operation in three counties has expressed an interest in this program in all seven counties served.
It is our belief that if R.S.V.P. was administered by the Administration on Aging, coordination would be simplified and perhaps more complete. It is the feeling that this program has a great deal of merit and that operation to a greater extent might be realized if staff from the office that monitors and gives technical assistance to Title III and Title VII could provide the same service to R.S.V.P.
The Administration on Aging, as the focal point in matters pertaining to the aging, promotes interagency coordination of programs for older persons with other Federal departments and agencies. The placing of R.S.V.P. programs under its administration would strengthen and unify this important activity throughout the states. Very truly yours,
L. E. RADER,
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington, D.C., February 10, 1975.
Hon. John BRADEMAS,
Rayburn House Office Building. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I would like to register my concern about the proposed phase-out June 30, 1975 by the Department of Labor of Operation Mainstream, a public service employment program for the elderly. Operation Mainstream was funded at $20 million as Title III of CETA, with the understanding that the Secretary of Labor would continue programs of demonstrated effectiveness.
There has been widespread recognition of the effectiveness of Operation Mainstream. In my own state of Colorado, the Denver Senior Aides program, which also serves Arapahoe, Jefferson and Elbert counties, is funded through Operation Mainstream and works with 28 host agencies. It has provided jobs for 60 senior citizens, stimulating their utilization of a multitude of skills, including clerical, nursing, transportation, community homemaker, home help and companionship, and day care jobs. The programs provide a chance for these elderly people to augment their income with meaningful activity. Senior Aides serve not only the elderly, but are involved in community projects with the low-income younger population, producing a healthy inter-action between age groups. The Senior Aides program has encouraged these older Americans to become concerned and active in their public service jobs, and the tremendous opportunity and stimulus provided by this program has been a life sustaining factor for most.
The program has also moved these elder Americans back into the economic mainstream, into unsubsidized employment. The placement ratio has jumped from 13% last year to 33%, and it is estimated that 50% of the Senior Aides could graduate to unsubsidized employment in the future.
A unique feature of the Denver Senior Aides program is that the entire grant goes for the benefit of the program. The administrative costs are absorbed entirely by the sponsoring agency. For the current contract period (1/1/74– 6/30/75) this amounts to $17,520 in-kind dollars. In recognition for its past achievements, at the conclusion of the "Governors Conference on Aging" last May, the Denver Senior Aides program was honored for "outstanding Contributions of Service to the Community." The program has met enthusiastic response from the senior citizens and host agencies, as well as the State and various City Governments in which they are located.
At this time of double digit inflation, which hits the elderly the hardest, it is deplorable that a program such as Operation Mainstream is in jeopardy. It is a self-help program which not only augments minimum incomes, but utilizes the gifts of those who have contributed much to society in their younger years and enriches and broadens their old age as they work to make their communities better places in which to live. For these reasons I urge the Secretary of Labor