PRESS RELEASE | July 13, 2022

LeadingAge Launches Aging Services Workforce Now Advocacy Campaign

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

July 13, 2022 Washington, DC — As Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed governors, mayors and county leaders from around the country today for the White House American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Workforce Development Summit, the national association of nonprofit providers of aging services called on the Biden Administration and our country’s elected leaders to make staffing in the aging services sector a top priority, and announced the launch of its Aging Services Workforce Now advocacy campaign

“Too many older adults and their families face challenges in accessing essential care and services to remain independent, safe and healthy because of a lack of qualified workers. Without sufficient staff in nursing homes, hospices, life plan communities, home health agencies, affordable senior housing, and other community-based services, there is no care,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services. “We appreciate the Administration’s commitment to workforce investments, and applaud the efforts to strengthen funding for vital home and community-based services. But our country must learn from past mistakes. Chronic underinvestment in and longstanding disregard for aging services—and primarily the valuable workers who are its core—created an opportunity for COVID to wreak havoc. That must not continue. We’ve got to repair, rebuild and reinvigorate this sector.” 

Solutions must start with the aging services workforce, which, Sloan continued, “is priority number #1. Demand for services will only grow as our country’s population ages, and all parts of government must work together to ensure every American can access the care and services they need.

The strategic deployment of ARPA funds for states and local governments is a step worth celebrating but Congress and the Administration have their own work to do to ensure older adults are not left behind. Our new advocacy campaign, Aging Services Workforce Now, lays out action needed around the issues older adults and their families face.” 

Immediate actions LeadingAge is calling Congress and the Administration to make include

  • Pay aging services professionals a living wage
  • Offer incentives to retain and attract qualified staff
  • Expand training and advancement opportunities
  • Build dependable international pipelines of trained caregivers
  • Enact meaningful, equitable long-term care financing

Read LeadingAge’s complete set of asks and more about the advocacy campaign behind them.

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.