On “National Day of Action,” Thousands of Aging Service Providers and Americans Demand that Congress Provide Real Relief for Older Americans and Care Workers in Upcoming COVID-19 Package

PRESS RELEASE | June 24, 2020 | by Amanda Marr

“COVID Is Not Over. Don’t Walk Away Now”

Contact: Amanda Marr

amarr@leadingage.org 202-577-5743

June 24, 2020 Washington DC – As Congress prepares another COVID-19 relief package, over a thousand nonprofit nursing homes and other care providers—along with thousands of Americans across the country—implored their Senators and Representatives to deliver comprehensive relief measures to safeguard older adults and care workers.

Yesterday’s National Day of Action for Older Adults is the latest part of the “Act For Older Adults” campaign sponsored by LeadingAge, which represents nonprofit nursing homes and care providers across the country.

“We know with certainty who is at the most risk from COVID-19. As the virus rages on—even increasing in almost half of states—it’s no surprise that Americans are telling Congress to finally provide comprehensive relief to protect older adults and care providers on the front line the worst pandemic in a century,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “More and more older Americans, along with their loved ones and families, will be demanding real relief as the fall elections approach.”

At the core of the Act for Older Adults campaign is an array of tactics to help Americans urge Congress to include robust support for aging services providers:

  • More than a thousand nonprofit nursing homes, assisted living, affordable housing providers, home health, hospice and other care providers added their names to our sign-on letter calling on Congress to provide real resources for older adults.
  • Over 1,500 advocates joined the Day of Action for Older Adults.
  • Advocates have completed over 5,000 calls and emails to demand campaign requests.
  • LeadingAge members have held dozens of virtual meetings with members of Congress.
  • Older adults, care workers and families shared over 400 #Act4OlderAdults videos, pictures and posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms, delivering over 1.3 million impressions.
  • In a campaign video, older residents and care workers remind policy makers that, “It’s not over.”
  • On July 8, LeadingAge and its members in the U.S. will join advocates in aging services from around the world for a global candlelight vigil to remember those who have been lost to COVID-19.

At the core of the Act for Older Adults campaign is a comprehensive relief package based on LeadingAge’s Five Essential Actions. The packages includes crucial resources for all providers and staff who care for older adults: immediate access to ample and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE); accurate and rapid-results testing and the funds to cover costs; hero pay, paid sick leave, and health care coverage for the brave frontline workers who are risking their own lives serving older people during this healthcare crisis; and a $100-billion dollar emergency fund to help nursing homes and other aging services providers protect residents and clients. Complete details are provided in a letter from LeadingAge to senators and representatives.

“We’re asking all Americans to tell Congress: COVID-19 is not over. Don’t walk away now,” said Sloan.

About LeadingAge

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org