LeadingAge to Congress: Don’t Shortchange Older Americans

PRESS RELEASE | July 20, 2021 | by Lisa Sanders

“Every dollar the President called for is needed to make care at home a real choice for older Americans.”

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

July 20, 2021, Washington, D.C. -- A top aging services organization applauded forward progress on proposals to help older Americans, but warned Congress not to walk back from critical investments in America’s aging services—including the President’s $400 billion pledge to provide home-based care for millions of older adults who need help with essentials like getting in and out of bed, bathing and eating meals.

As Congress and the Administration negotiate the details of an agreement, members of LeadingAge, which represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers across the country, contacted Members of Congress to urge them to deliver funding for home and community-based services, as well as more affordable senior housing, enhanced investment in aging services workforce, and expansion of Medicare to include dental, hearing, and vision services.

The renewed drive comes amid reports of proposals to cut back on the $400 billion on the table for home-based care.

“Every dollar the President called for is needed to make care at home a real choice for older Americans,” said Katie Smith Sloan, LeadingAge president and CEO, adding: “These investments are decades overdue. The country is rapidly growing older, and now is the time to meet the ever-increasing needs of millions of older Americans.”

A recent LeadingAge survey showed 89% of Americans support public investment in affordable home care services to help older adults.

Sloan also released a letter signed on behalf of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations—a coalition of 67 national nonprofit organization members—calling on Congress to support home and community-based services; better wages, benefits, and training for care workers; affordable housing programs; employment protections and workforce development; broadband services; and transportation options for older adults.

The Administration’s other proposals also enjoy broad public support:

  • 86% support public investment in housing and support for low-income older adults to address the shortage and waiting lists that lead to homelessness, instability, and skipping meals and medicine to pay rent.
  • 83% support public investment in broadband internet to ensure equitable access for older adults who need this basic utility for telehealth and other care services, and to fight social isolation.

There are 52 million people over 65 now, a population expected to double by 2040. LeadingAge supports these investments in aging services as part of it’s Blueprint for a Better Aging Infrastructure which calls for investments in workforce, home and community-based services, and senior housing to help ensure the United States builds a strong foundation to meet the critical needs of our rapidly aging population both today and into the future.

 

 

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.