Older Americans Act

Title VI Programs for Native American, Native Alaskan & Native Hawaiian Elders

Under Title VI of the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Administration on Aging (AOA) awards grants to provide supportive and nutrition services which maintain the unique cultural and other needs of older Native Americans.

Title VI is divided into two parts, Part A-Indian Program and Part B-Native Hawaiian Program.

The 1992 amendments to the Act called for coordination between Title VI and Title III and a "hold harmless" clause for all current Title VI grantees (subject to the availability of appropriations). Of the amount appropriated for Title VI for each fiscal year, 90 percent is provided to carry out Part A and 10 percent to carry out Part B.

Congregate and home delivered meals and supportive services were provided by Indian tribes under Title VI, Part A. All grantees provided information and referral unless other arrangements existed. Other supportive services included transportation, counseling and home assistance services.

Two Native American Resource Centers were established and funded by Title IV research funds in FY94. These Centers (University of North Dakota and Colorado respectively) are developing an approach and methodology to gather valid data to address issues related to community-based long-term care among the Indian community on reservations. The two Resource Centers each received a $75,000 supplement from the Office of Women's Health to conduct breast cancer awareness, training, and education programs for American Indian and Alaska Native women.

AoA and the Native resource centers conducted a Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities survey in order to collect information about:

  1. Availability of home and community-based long-term care programs and resources in American Indian and Alaska Native communities,
  2. How the programs and services are funded, and
  3. The barriers to establishing such programs and services in those communities.

The Native Elder Resource Center (NEHCRC) at the University of Colorado, published two education training modules entitled "Cancer Among Elder Native Americans" and "Diabetes Mellitus (Type II) in the American Indian/Alaska Native Elders: Cultural Aspects of Care". The modules, prepared by NEHCRC staff and affiliated faculty, are targeted toward physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers, health administrators and paraprofessionals.

The National Resource Center on Native American Aging at the University of North Dakota published two fact sheets entitled, "Oral Health Status and Practices Among Native Hawaiian Elders" and "Housing Options for Native Elders". The resource center has also developed a grants training manual.

A permanent Interagency Task Force comprised of representatives of Federal departments and agencies with "an interest in older Indians and their welfare" is legislatively mandated to improve services to older Indians. The Director of the Office of American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian Programs chairs this Task Force. Task Force members focus on three areas of concern: health, transportation and data.

Three subcommittees gather and analyze information, make recommendations for action to the Task Force that would further interagency collaboration and enhance services to older Indians, and identify problems to prevent or diminish collaboration.