Urge the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and President Obama to pass the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R.2786).
What is the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011?
The Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R.2786), sponsored by U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 20), is a bill that would add Holocaust survivors to a priority list for social services that are provided as part of the Older Americans Act, including nutrition services, mental health counseling, and home modifications.
~Holocaust Survivors in the United State~
During the Holocaust, which took place between 1933 and 1945, an estimated 6,000,000 Jews, as well as millions from other targeted groups, were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.
Approximately 127,000 Holocaust survivors remain in the United States, and thousands pass away each year.
All Holocaust survivors are at least 65 years old with approximately three quarters of them older than 75 and a majority in their 80s and 90s.
~Effects of Poverty and Aging of Holocaust Survivors in the U.S. ~
Holocaust survivors are getting older and frailer, and will be seeking additional support and assistance from social service providers to enable them to age in place. Providers face increased levels of demand from vulnerable individuals without any additional revenue to cover needed services.
More than half of all Holocaust survivors who emigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union after 1965 fall beneath 200 percent of the Federal poverty threshold and constitute an extremely vulnerable at-risk population in the United States.
~Effects of Trauma and Institutionalization of Holocaust Survivors in the U.S. ~
Holocaust survivors continue to live with the mental and physical scars of the unconscionable trauma caused by the Holocaust.
While institutionalized settings are beneficial for some older people, long-term care facilities can have an adverse effect on Holocaust survivors. For many Holocaust survivors, institutionalized settings reintroduce sights, sounds, smells, emotions and routines which can induce panic, anxiety, and re-traumatization as a result of experiences resulting from the Holocaust.
However, approximately two-thirds of Holocaust survivors live alone and living alone is a risk factor for institutionalization.
Low income Holocaust survivors are more reliant on social service programs than most other older Americans, with proportionally more Holocaust survivors needing services such as personal care, home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, counseling and mental health support.
What will the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 do?
The Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R.2786), sponsored by U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 20), would amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to provide social service agencies with the resources to provide services to meet the unique needs of Holocaust survivors to age in place with dignity, comfort, security, and quality of life.
It would add Holocaust survivors to a priority list for social services that are provided as part of the Older Americans Act, including nutrition services, mental health counseling, and home modifications. In addition to bolstering agencies that work to provide support services to Holocaust survivors in the U.S., from improved home care services to transportation options.
The bill would also designate someone within the Administration on Aging to oversee the implementation of all the services to survivors to ensure the full intent of the bill is carried out. Because transportation is one of the greatest needs of these seniors, another integral part of the bill is a grant program that would improve transportation services.
What can you do to get the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 passed?
Please write to and/or call your U.S. Representatives and Senators and President Obama tell them to pass Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R.2786).. Also ask your U.S. Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor the Holocaust Survivors Assistance Act of 2011 (H.R.2786).. In addition ask that President Obama sign it into law.
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