The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is using a statement of “organization, functions, and delegations of authority” to try to overhaul the way it handles people who need help with the activities of daily living.
HHS is putting several existing agencies, including the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, in a new Administration for Community Living (ACL).
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the Obama administration is forming the ACL to emphasize its commitment to taking a new approach to older people and people with disabilities.
The guiding principle is that “all Americans – including people with disabilities and seniors – should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions – rather than in nursing homes or other institutions,” Sebelius says in a statement.
The new agency will try to find ways to help keep people in their communities, Sebelius says.
ACL could look at matters such as housing, employment, education and social participation as well as health care, Sebelius says.