(JTA) — Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that will prioritize health care and nutrition services for Holocaust survivors.
The bill, the Trauma-Informed Modernization of Eldercare for Holocaust Survivors Act or “TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act,” was introduced earlier this month in the Senate. It increases the chances that survivors could age in their own homes rather than an in institutions.
It was introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is Jewish, and Reps. Donna Shalala, D-Fla. and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.
The bill incorporates several provisions into the Older Americans Act to ensure that Holocaust survivors have care and services tailored to their needs.
“My district has among the largest populations of survivors in the country. The trauma and grief that these survivors endured is unimaginable. The TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act can tend to that unique pain in this closing chapter of their lives, and allow them to live out their remaining years with dignity,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.
There are about 80,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States, with one-third of them living at or below the poverty line. Aging Holocaust survivors have needs similar to other older Americans, but institutionalized settings, with confined spaces or restrictions on food, can induce panic, anxiety and trauma due to their Holocaust experiences, the bill notes.