Aging Services Leader Redoubles Call for Support for Older Americans

PRESS RELEASE | June 11, 2021 | by Lisa Sanders

“This is about millions of older Americans who are facing hardships and need help. Congress must act swiftly.”

Contact: Lisa Sanders, lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

June 11, 2021, Washington, DC—Reacting to the omission of support for older adults from the latest infrastructure legislation being proposed in Congress, one of the nation’s top aging services organizations intensified its call for the Administration’s investments to be enacted without delay.

 

A bipartisan group of lawmakers released a statement last night without indications that their infrastructure package includes the desperately needed investments in home and community-based services or affordable housing for older adults proposed by the Biden Administration.

“Congress must act swiftly to help millions of older adults facing hardships,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the national association of more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers. She redoubled appeals to Congress for support of long overdue aging services infrastructure investments proposed by the Administration to provide caregiving, affordable housing and broadband support.

“This is about millions of older Americans living at home who need help to take their medicines, get a ride to the doctor, pick up groceries or stay bathed and clean. This is about older adults who are homeless, unable to access the services needed to remain at home, stuck on housing waiting lists for years, living in a place they cannot afford, or skipping meals and medicine to pay rent. This is about the millions of family members and friends who struggle to balance the demands of caring for a loved one, and who are increasingly stressed, stretched and in unsustainable situations.”

“Job-creating investments in aging services infrastructure are essential for the long-term health and independence of older Americans, and for our economy and society.”

Sloan also called on lawmakers to include support for broadband internet access for older adults and those who serve them. This basic utility is critical to providing telehealth and fighting social isolation--and to ensure equity in internet access. The vast majority of federally supported housing for older adults does not have apartments with wi-fi.

LeadingAge members around the country have been urging their Members of Congress to adopt the Administration’s proposals for home and community-based care, affordable housing and broadband support.

LeadingAge recently released a needs report documenting the growing care affordability and access crisis facing older Americans—and the need for more government reimbursement to enable care providers to meet this demand. By 2029, it’s estimated that 54% of middle-income older adults won’t be able to afford the housing and long-term care they need.

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.