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The Older Iowans Legislature is a statewide non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization. Its members advocate for state legislators and the Governor to sign legislation that will result in an improved “Quality of Life for Older Iowans”.

The Older Iowans Legislature places special emphasis on the frail elderly; those citizens who have contributed much to our society, but have exhausted their resources and in need of assistance to lead meaningful lives.

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Summary of the 2018 OIL Session

We Have Our Bills for the 2019 Iowa General Assembly as enacted on September 25, 2018 by the 2018 Session of the Older Iowans Legislature

The gavel has come down on the 2018 session of the Older Iowans Legislature and our delegates to the annual OIL session on Tuesday, September 25 enacted four OIL Priority Issues/Bills that the Older Iowans Legislature will advocate to members of the Iowa General Assembly in January 2019 on behalf of Iowa’s older adults.

ELDER ABUSE LAW: Iowa is one of a few states that does not have a specific criminal Elder Abuse Law so the members of the OIL Senior Rights Committee recommended to the “body as a whole” that the Older Iowans Legislature should advocate for an Elder Abuse Law based on the proposed legislation supported by the Attorney General’s office during the 2014 legislative session of the Iowa General Assembly. Delegates to the 2018 Older Iowans Legislature voted this as our number one OIL Priority Issue/Bill for advocacy in 2019.

The formal bill writing process for this OIL Priority Issue/Bill and for the three other OIL Priority Issues/Bills described below will be completed during October and November 2018.

IOWA CARE ACT: Delegates to the 2018 Older Iowans Legislature voted to advocate for passage of the Iowa Care Act as expressed as an OIL Priority Issue/Bill. The members of the OIL Workforce/Caregiver Committee proposed that the Care Act should have the following stipulations:

The Older Iowans Legislature joined with AARP and other organizations in a publicity campaign advocating for passage of The Care Act in the 2017 session of the Iowa General Assembly. There was strong support for The Care Act then but it fell just short of the necessary votes for passage.

FUTURE READY IOWA: The Older Iowans Legislature will be advocating for the expansion of the Governor’s Future Ready Iowa program to include the direct care workforce such as Certified Nursing Assistants. The OIL Workforce/Caregivers Committee recommended the expansion of the Future Ready Iowa program to help address the recruitment, training and retention of health care professionals and support staff in all settings at a time when Iowa is facing a severe workforce shortage as the number of older adults living in Iowa is rapidly increasing. The 2018 session of the Older Iowans Legislature enacted Future Ready Iowa as one of our OIL Issues/Bills.

HOME MODIFICATIONS FOR OLDER ADULTS: The Department on Aging, AARP and the Older Iowans Legislature just completed a statewide survey of Iowa’s seniors titled Aging in Iowa Survey: Discovering What Matters and the results of the survey revealed that the most important issue for Iowa older adults is “aging in place” in their own homes and communities. So subsequently, the OIL Quality of Life Committee discussed and recommended a proposal to OIL delegates regarding home modifications, which would provide for the capability of older Iowans to remain in their own homes. This OIL Priority Issue/Bill includes:

This enacted OIL Priority Issue/Bill for home modification is in sync with the beliefs expressed by the directors of state agencies and legislators who spoke to the delegates to the 2018 Older Iowans Legislature. All the speakers to the 2018 OIL session expressed the belief that it is cost effective to have Iowa older adults “age in place” instead of being institutionalized.

The adoption of these four (4) OIL Priority Issues/Bills by delegates to the 2018 Older Iowans Legislature is the kickoff of our 2019 advocacy for all of Iowa’s citizenry to have a “quality of life” as they age. The Older Iowans Legislature will be sending these OIL Priority Bills to the Iowa General Assembly and to the Governor by January 2019.

RESOLUTIONFOR SENIOR LIVING COORDINATING COMMITTEE: In addition to the above four Priority Issues/Bills, delegates to the 2018 Older Iowans Legislature also passed a resolution that the Governor create a Senior Living Coordinating Committee composed of the Directors of the Departments on Aging, Human Services, Public Health and Inspection and Appeals, two Senators and two Representatives and four citizens, to develop a coordinated strategy for meeting the needs of Iowa’s older adults.

AWARD TO OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE FOR OLDER ADULTS: One of the highlights of the 2018 session of the Older Iowans Legislature was the awarding of the Lahoma N. Counts Award to Representative Dave Heaton for his continued advocacy for older adults during his years in the Iowa House of Representatives. Representative Heaton is retiring after 24 years of service in the Iowa House of Representatives.

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING ACTION:

OIL delegates re-elected the following officers:

On a personal note, I would like to thank our speakers, state departments’ staffs and the representatives of other organizations, the committee chairs and most of all, the OIL delegates for making this annual meeting such a success.

Helene Magee

Chair, Chair Older Iowans Legislature

Speaker of the House, OIL Session September 24-25, 2018


Photos

Here are a few photographic highlights of the 2018 OIL Session...

photo of Helene Magee presiding photo of award ceremony photo of participants photo of award ceremony photo of award ceremony photo of participants photo of Helene Magee presiding

New Survey!
Available here!

AARP Iowa, the Older Iowans Legislature and the Iowa Department on Aging will have a better understanding of the biggest challenges when it comes to aging in Iowa as they begin to prepare for the next legislative session.

The three organizations are working together to ask residents of all ages for their thoughts on what Iowa can do to improve the quality of life for its older population through a brief online survey posted on the Department on Aging’s website at www.iowaaging.gov/content/2018-aging-iowa-survey-discovering-what-matters. With the information gathered from the responses to eight questions, the groups hope to discover what really matters to older adults and their caregivers and develop policy to take to elected officials next January.

"The more information available about aging needs, the better prepared the Department and its partners will be to develop innovative, collaborative approaches to help improve the quality of life and care for older Iowans," said Iowa Department on Aging Director Linda Miller. For those interested in becoming even more involved in addressing aging issues in Iowa, the survey also includes a link to learn more about the Older Iowans Legislature (OIL), a statewide, non-partisan organization whose members advocate for state legislators and the Governor to sign legislation that will result in an improved quality of life for older Iowans.

Each year, OIL members meet at the Iowa Capitol to discuss and determine the priority issues impacting the state's growing aging population. This year's Annual Meeting will take place on Sept. 24-25 and leaders intend to use the results of the survey to inform their legislative agenda this year. "The Older Iowans Legislature urges its members and friends, as well as all of Iowa’s seniors, to participate in the survey. The results will play a major role in the discussion of aging issues at our Annual Meeting, which will be held in the House Chamber of the State Capitol," explained OIL Chair Helene Magee.

The delegates to the annual meeting can use the survey information to ask questions of department heads, legislators and the candidates for governor to determine where they stand on the challenges facing the state to help meet the needs of a growing aging population, according to Magee. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and is available online through Sept. 21, 2018.

The Iowa Department on Aging (IDA) is an executive branch agency dedicated to making Iowa the premier state in which to live and retire. To meet that goal, the IDA works closely with the Iowa Commission on Aging and Iowa’s six Agencies on Aging to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of long-term living and community support services that helps individuals maintain health and independence in their homes and communities. More information is available at www.iowaaging.gov.

The Older Iowans Legislature is a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization that pursues quality of life for older Iowans by voicing their needs to the general public, all governmental bodies and service providers, and by providing opportunities for older Iowans to learn and participate in governmental processes to help solve problems facing seniors.