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On July 2, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), along with cosponsors Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced the Responding to the Urgent Needs of Survivors of the Holocaust (RUSH) Act (S. 3358), a bipartisan bill that would amend the Older Americans Act (OAA) to address the unique needs of Holocaust survivors.
The bill would establish preference within the OAA for individuals who are Holocaust survivors and would create a grant program to increase and improve transportation services for older Americans, with preference for Holocaust survivors.
In addition, the bill would modify the OAA's home delivered meal provisions to ensure that Americans with religious, ethnic, and dietary food restrictions receive meals that reflect these preferences.
“We have an obligation to provide aging Americans access to the services that they need -- and the community support they deserve -- in a setting that is not mentally or physically exhausting or traumatizing, Sen. Cardin said in a press release. "Holocaust survivors fled to our country because of persecution for who they were. These great Americans deserve our attention and our efforts to ensure that they are more able to age in place.”
Sen. Cardin added, "By focusing on home and community-based long-term care, we can help ensure that fewer of these survivors are dependent on the unpaid support of family caregivers, or have to resort to unnecessary institutionalization.”
As of 2010, there were approximately 127,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States, and more than three quarters of them are older than age 75, with a majority in their 80s and 90s.