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TARCOG News & Headlines

Read on for recent happenings, announcements, and notable headlines from TARCOG and its communities throughout the region.

July — Celebrating more than Independence Day

Celebrating the impact of  Independence Day, Older Americans Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Medicare and Medicaid & How TARCOG Helps

The Fourth of July may be one of the oldest celebrations for the entire country, but there have been other significant actions that are also important to recognize because of the impact on the nation’s older people and those with disabilities.

These laws and programs are among the reasons TARCOG exists to provide services to help the communities of DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Marshall counties.

59th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act

On July 14, 1965, the Older Americans Act (OAA) was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Act authorizes a wide array of service programs through a nationwide network of Area Agencies on Aging (like Aging and Disability Services) and is a major source of federal funding.

The OAA, last amended and reauthorized on March 25, 2020, helps millions of our most vulnerable elders rely on the OAA for their health, economic security, and independence every year. Services include home-delivered and congregate meals; information and referral, counseling, and respite care for family caregivers; preventive health services; personal and home care services; transportation; legal assistance; elder abuse prevention; and other programs that help people grow old in their own homes. That’s where the majority of people want to live as they age.

The OAA is currently being discussed in Congress for reauthorization. With so many older adults in our population today and forecast in the next decade, more funding is needed.

34th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. The ADA is an important civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs and services, and has led to greater societal understanding of disability, though there is still more to do to ensure all people with disabilities have equal access to everything enjoyed by people without disabilities.

Ever since July 1990, July has been known as Disability Pride Month. It is an opportunity to honor the history, achievements, experiences, and struggles of the disability community.

59th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which protect the health and wellbeing of millions of families throughout our country and improve the economic security of our nation.


Medicare is a health insurance program for people aged 65 or older as well as some who are younger who have permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. To sign up, go to and select “Apply for Medicare Only.”

For those with a disability, you have to sign up for Social Security Disability (SSD). Social Security has to approve you for a disability. Then once approved for SSD and after two years of being on disability you automatically will receive a Medicare card.


Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides low- or no-cost health insurance benefits for low-income people of all ages. Medicaid is solely based on a person’s income and assets.

The Alabama Medicaid Agency began operations on Jan. 1, 1970. It is a state and federal program that pays for medical and long-term care services for low-income pregnant women, children, certain people on Medicare, disabled individuals and nursing home residents. The individuals must meet certain income and other requirements. Many of the programs have transformed over the years, but the state’s vision and values have remained the same.


TARCOG was created in 1968. A year later when the Alabama State Legislature authorized creation of substate regional planing and development communions, the TARCOG area was already formed and functioning. In 1970, TARCOG became the sixth of 12 regional councils to have an Area Agency on Aging.

TARCOG can help you! How? Apply for Medicaid Waiver Services by calling TARCOG at 256-830-0818.