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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Heath care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

GAO: 12 Million Seniors Not Receiving Needed Home-Based Care

June 17, 2015 09:28 AM

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported this month that an estimated 75 percent of seniors who likely need home-based care are not receiving such home-based services.

In the report, GAO analyzed the most recent data available from two national surveys, the 2013 Current Population Survey (CPS) and the 2012 Health and Retirement Study (HRS).  To estimate the number of seniors who likely need home-based care, GAO analyzed 2012 HRS data on the number of respondents “age 60 and older who reported having difficulty with one or more daily activities and whether they received help.” 

“An estimated 27 percent (about 16 million) of older adults from all income levels report difficulties with one or more daily activities, indicating they may need home-based care, according to our analysis of 2012 HRS data,” GAO wrote in the report.  “Two-thirds or more of these older adults either receive no help, or receive help with some, but not all, of their difficulties—either formally from sources such as Title III programs and Medicaid or informally through family members.  Specifically, between approximately 67 and 78 percent do not receive help with all identified difficulties, depending on the number and type of difficulty.”

GAO conducted the study in response to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who requested the agency update its findings on how many seniors need services provided under the Older Americans Act of 1965.  Sanders is advocating for reauthorization of and increased funding for the Older Americans Act programs.  GAO indicated the problem is based on the growing senior population as well as inadequate funding for services provided under the Older Americans Act. 

“The demand for these programs is great and in many areas of the country vulnerable seniors are on waiting lists for services that they desperately need,” wrote Sanders in a letter signed by 32 other senators addressed to the Senate Appropriations Committee members responsible for setting the funding levels for senior programs.  “A nation is judged by how it cares for its most vulnerable including the elderly and children. It is not acceptable that millions of elderly in this country are living in poverty and struggling to feed themselves.”

The GAO report provides strong support for the reauthorization and expansion of the Older Americans Act. In addition, it is a useful market analysis for home care companies in understanding the business potential that is increasing as the U.S. population ages and it is unlikely that all seniors in need of home care will qualify for or have access to care through the Older American Act funding. 

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has long advocated for strengthening and expanding the Older Americans Act home care programs.  Given the findings of the GAO, NAHC will recommend that the Congress hold a hearing highlighting the issues of care access under the OAA, establish outreach support services to identify individuals in need, and take action to increase integration of services provided under the Older Americans Act into the realm of the myriad of social services and health care programs for senior citizens.

You can read the full GAO report here.




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