« PreviousContinue »
Federal grants of $7.5 million for fiscal year 1964, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the following 2 years, would be authorized to help colleges and universities strengthen programs for the preparation of elementary and secondary school teachers. In addition, grants totaling $7.5 million for fiscal year 1964, and such sums as Congress considers necessary for the next 2 years, would be made to colleges and universities to help train teachers needing specialized courses. This program, which includes traineeships, would be open to public and private school personnel, college and community librarians, and educational researchers.
Older people would benefit in three ways: Those who are college graduates, and wish to do so, could receive financial assistance in their preparation to become teachers; those older people who need help to overcome illiteracy and undereducation would have more teachers available to help them; and preparation of leaders for older age groups could be extended by qualified universities.
LETTER FROM SECRETARY ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE
RELATIVE TO GRANTS TO THE STATES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAMS IN AGING
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHI,
EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,
Washington, D.C., April 22, 1963. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: I am transmitting herewith a draft of a bill to amend the Social Security Act so as to provide assistance in the development of new or improved programs to help older persons through grants to the States for community planning and services and for training, through research, development, demonstration, or training project grants, through grants for construction of recreational activity centers, and through grants to stimulate employment opportunities. The bill, as the President indicated in his special message of February 21, 1963, relating to the elderly citizens of our Nation, has four principal purposes:
First, it will provide assistance to the States and, through the States, to the communities for the launching of a concerted program to establish and expand the services to our older citizens in terms of locally determined needs. Under part A of the new title XVII of the Social Security Act—“Grants for Community Planning, Services, and Training”--the States are provided financial assistance to help meet the costs of projects for (1) community planning and coordination of programs, (2) demonstrations of programs or activities, (3) training of special personnel needed to carry out such programs and activities, and (4) establishment of new or expansion of existing programs, except for costs of construction other than minor alterations or repairs.
Second, in the areas of broad concern and nationwide interest, parts B and C of the new title XVII will encourage and assist public and nonprofit private organizations, universities, professional schools, and other institutions to conduct research development or demonstration, and evaluation projects leading to the development of new and improved approaches and techniques to help older people and to improve coordination of community services for them, and to establish and expand programs for training the professional and technical personnel needed to provide the broad range of services which our older citizens need but cannot provide for themselves.
Third, part D of the new title XVII provides for grants to assist public and nonprofit private organizations in the construction of multipurpose recreational activity centers for older persons. The centers, some of which have been established in pioneering communities during the past decade, probably represent the most significant new agency created to meet the needs of older citizens. They are providing opportunities for our older people to build new retirement lives based on the pursuit of new or revived interests and skills and recreation; find avenues for rendering important voluntary and civic services to their communities; make new friends to replace those lost through retirement, relocation, or death; secure educational experiences that promote health, literacy, and mental alertness; and secure personal counseling, information, or referral to other community services to help in the solution of their individual problems. In addition to demonstrating their usefulness in enabling older people to continue as active participants in ongoing community life, activity centers are preventing the kind of isolation and withdrawal which frequently results in premature physical and mental deterioration requiring care in mental hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions.
Fourth, the bill provides for grants to assist public and nonprofit private organizations in carrying out experimental and demonstration projects to stimulate an expansion of employment opportunities for the large numbers of older persons who for financial and other reasons earnestly seek gainful employment. Without displacing presently employed persons or interfering with the established wage structure, numerous and imaginative opportunities exist for activities employing the skills and knowledge of our elderly citizens in the provision of needed services on full-time or part-time schedules.
Lengthening life expectancy has brought large increases in both the number and the proportion of older persons in our population and in the number of years they will spend in retirement. By 1970, more than 20 million persons, or every 10th American, will be 65 years of age or over. These added years, however, are often unhappy ones.
Many of our older citizens face special problems resulting from their circumstances-a considerable reduction in income after retirement while health costs rise and declining health requires more medical and other care; lack of opportunity to continue useful service to society and to enjoy productive and satisfying activities when ample leisure time becomes available; unsuitable or inadequate housing, etc.
While our present programs are helping meet some of the more serious problems, important gaps remain. The President's message of February 21, 1963, proposed a number of steps to help fill these gaps. One of these steps is the enclosed “Senior Citizens Community Planning and Services Act of 1963."
I will appreciate your referring this bill to the appropriate committee for its consideration.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that enactment of the enclosed draft bill would be in accord with the President's program. Sincerely,
ANTHONY J. CELEBREZZE,
SPEECH MADE ON APRIL 24, 1963, BY SENATOR GEORGE
A. SMATHERS, INTRODUCING "THE SENIOR CITIZENS COMMUNITY PLANNING AND SERVICES ACT OF 1963" (S. 1357)
Mr. President, I introduce for appropriate reference a bill entitled "The Senior Citizens Community Planning and Services Act of 1963.”
The bill would amend the Social Security Act by establishing a new title XVII to provide assistance in the development of new or improved programs to help older persons through grants to the States.
Briefly stated the bill, if adopted, would do the following:
Part # of the proposed new title XVII to the Social Security Act would provide financial assistance to the States to help meet the cost of projects for: First, Community planning and coordination of programs; second, demonstrations of programs or activities; third, training of special personnel needed to carry out such programs and activities; and fourth, establishment of new or expansion of existing programs, except for costs of construction other than minor alterations or repairs.
Parts B and C would encourage research, development, demonstration, and evaluation projects leading to the development of new and improved approaches and techniques to help older people, and would establish and expand training programs.
Part D would provide grants to assist public and nonprofit organizations in the construction of multipurpose recreational activity centers for older persons.
Part E would provide grants to assist public and nonprofit organizations in carrying out experimental and demonstration projects designed to stimulate an expansion of employment opportunities for older persons who desire to work.
Man's ancient desire to live longer is being realized at last. Life expectancy in this country has risen to 70 years. There are present today in our population 1712 million people aged 65 or older.' Their numbers increase at the rate of a thousand each day.
Though this is a towering achievement of medical science, it has not yet been translated into a wholly successful human achievement.
These added years should be bonus years for the individual and for the Nation as well. They have not yet proved to be.
This is true partly because science is ahead of society-and perhaps ahead of itself-not realizing how quickly and extensively these added years would come and what profound changes they would bring with them.
Science built the bridge to longer life before the destination was prepared. Now we are attempting to carry on construction during the rush hour.
We have also been caught in the midst of other developments. As the number of people of older ages has increased, other balances have been shifting. The total population has increased, crowding housing, health facilities, and job opportunities.
The rural has given way to the urban and this, with increased mobility, changes the family structure and the place of the elderly within the family.
Thus, today, the senior citizen is not only a new category. He exists within a new framework. We have not quite known what to do with him. Nor have we thought sufliciently about what he could do for us. We have too often simply closed our eyes to his predicament and shut him out of sight.
In speaking of senior citizens, we have not fully recognized that we are not speaking of one group, but of many. The needs of the Nation's 10,369 men and women who have passed their century mark are very different from those of the 250,000 who are celebrating their 65th birthday each year.
Too often the tendency has been to equate the entire senior group of our population with infirmity-to think of everyone over the age of 65 as someone to be taken care of. This is patently a false grouping and a false assumption.
There are, in all age groups, the weak and the strong, the dependent and independent.
There are, of course, infirm aged-many of them-particularly among those beyond age 75. Many are bedridden. Many are mentally confused and unable to care for themselves. Four out of five persons
age of 65 suffer from some chronic illness. We must be conscious of their needs.
But there are also sturdy, active, creative, and self-sufficient elderly men and women. We must be equally aware of their need to participate in life. Even among those with chronic ailments, there will be degrees of impairment. Some may need only to walk a little slower. Others may need certain aids in order to remain productive. Given such help, they can continue to contribute to their own happiness, to that of their families, and to the achievements of this Nation.
In point of fact, the elderly who are presently well and able are in many cases in as distressing a predicament as the chronically ill and infirm aged.
Retirement has too often meant a forced disengagement from life. In contrast, this increased lifespan of the individual could mean that, for the first time in history, a nation exists in which the people will have time enough to think, time enough to reach full selfrealization.
It now could mean that when men and women reach the time of retirement, which was once nearly the end of life, they are merely at the beginning of a whole new period of later maturity.
The immediate personal needs for a private career and family have been taken care of. There is time left. There is energy left. There is experience available for public service. A new dimension could be added to life, but it will take action to bring this about.