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Grants awarded for native American elders and caregivers. (Awards).

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson recently announced $27.6 million in grants to support vital community programs and services for tribal elders and their caregivers. This amount reflects an 8.5-percent increase in funding for FY 2002 and includes 10 tribal organizations receiving Federal funds for aging services for the first time.

"The services provided through these grants are helping to improve the lives of our most revered citizens. We know that serious health disparities continue to plague Native American communities, and lack of access to health and social services remains a challenge," Secretary Thompson said. "This program is a vital component of our prevention and education efforts to reach out to vulnerable communities."

Administered by HHS' Administration on Aging (AoA), the 236 grants awarded to tribal organizations will provide nutrition and supportive care to Native American elders to help them remain independent and healthy. In addition, 177 Native American Caregiver Support Grants, available under the new National Family Caregiver Support Program, will support the caregivers of American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian elders. Of that number, 68 tribal organizations will receive critical caregiver support services for the first time.

Since 1978, AoA has funded federally recognized tribal organizations for nutrition and supportive services to approximately 250,000 Native American elders, who are among the most disadvantaged populations in the Nation. The Native American Caregiver Support Program, created in 2000 as part of the new National Family Caregiver Support Program--a new component of the Older Americans Act--provides support to the caregivers of elders who are chronically ill or have disabilities. The program includes information and assistance, counseling, training, and respite care among its list of services available to family caregivers struggling to care for family members.

"We know that an increasing number of Native American elders need assistance, and most prefer to remain in their homes, communities, and on reservations. Our programs help to promote independence, well-being, and positive lifestyles while preserving the heritage of the Native American culture," HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell said.
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Publication:Health Care Financing Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2002
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