Evolution of Programs and Services – Health System Example

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"Evolution of Programs and Services" is a great example of a paper on the health system. When the programs and initiatives  for the elderly  over the second half of the twentieth century  are  taken into account, the first step was the first National Conference on Aging  under President Truman  which was sponsored by the Federal Security Agency.     Two years later, as a continuation of this program, federal funds were set up for social service programs solely aimed at older people. Four years later, the Office of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare appointed special staff to coordinate the special programs aimed at the aging population.

In the same year, President Eisenhower established the Federal Council on Aging.     Thereafter, in 1958, another important progress was made when Congress introduced new legislation that called for a White House Conference on Aging.   Within one year, under the provisions of the Housing Act, a loan program was initiated that allowed loans for the elderly at lower rates. Besides, under the Act, the minimum age limit for low-income women to apply for public-low-rent housing was lowered to 62 (Reardon & Peabody).     The year 1961 saw the first White House Conference on Aging as a result of which Social Security Amendments took place which reduced the retirement age from 65 to 62.

Besides, this amendment liberalized the retirement  test  and raised the aged widows’ minimum benefits.     Another important milestone was the year 1965 when the Older Americans Act became law. This gave birth to the Administration on Aging as a part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Besides, the same year saw the initiation of the Medicare program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

This offered health insurance to low-income people. After two years, in 1967, the Age  Discrimination Act became law, and its amendment that took place two years later offered grants to foster grandparents and retired senior volunteer programs  (Facts about age discrimination).     In the year 1972, Older Americans Act  was again amended to add Title VII that ensured special funds for the nutrition program for the elderly people, and the very next year, one more amendment took place to add Title V that called for grants to initiate multi-purpose senior centers and started Community Service Employment grant for low-income aged people.   In the year 1974, the Housing and Community Development Act was enacted.

This Act ensured low-income housing for the elderly and handicapped people.     Another important change appeared in the year 1987 when the Older Americans Act was amended to add more provisions. These provisions offered in-home services for the frail elderly, and the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.   Thereafter, in the year 2006, there was the introduction of the Lifespan Respite Care Act, followed by the Affordable Care Act in 2010.      Impact of Medicare Program of 1965  According to Nesvisky  (2011), the effects of the Medicare program  were mainly two; better health,   and risk-reduction.

This is evident from the fact that the period after its initiation witnessed a decline in elderly mortality. This is so because the program effectively saved them from out-of-pocket medical expenses. Secondly, it is found that the introduction of Medicare has made hospitals adopt newer medical technologies faster  (Nesvisky,   2011).     Nutrition  Program  for the Elderly People and  its  Impact    The Elderly Nutrition Program provides grants to support nutrition services to elderly people throughout the nation. Presently, such meals and nutrition services are provided through a variety of settings ranging from senior centers, faith-based settings, schools, and homes.

According to the fact sheet from the US Department of Health and Human Services, in the year 2003, nearly 3 million American elderly participants were getting 40 to 50 percent of their needed nutrients through the program.    


Elderly Nutrition Program. US Department of Health and Human Services. Nurtition.gov. retrieved from http://www.nutrition.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=11&tax_level=2&tax_subject=394&topic_id=1772&placement_default=0

Facts about age discrimination. (Sep 8, 2008). The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.html

Nesvisky, M. (2011). Medicare and its impact. The National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/digest/apr06/w11609.html

Reardon, M. H & Peabody, N. 202 Elderly Housing Program History. Retrieved from http://www.ipedinc.net/powerpoints/202_Elderly_Housing_Program_History_Michael_Reardon_Nixon_Peabody_LLP.pdf

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