More Than 30 National And Regional Leaders Tell Public To Beware Of Growing Crisis In Accessing Care For Older Americans And Call On American People To Fight For Strengthening Support For Build Back Better

PRESS RELEASE | January 11, 2022

“Open Letter” from leaders of national and state nonprofits focused on older adults and families spells out crises in affordable housing, home and community-based services, and staffing shortages as nation’s population ages. “Our futures will be decided in the coming weeks--Don’t let this moment pass.”

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

January 11, 2022, Washington, DC—In an unusual joint letter issued to the American people today, thirty-four leaders of aging services, health and social support nonprofit organizations detail a growing crisis in aging services and call on Americans to make sure that elected officials stand by “the most consequential programs and initiatives affecting older adults and families in decades.”  

The letter comes as Congress and the Administration work to revive stalled negotiations over the Build Back Better package, which would provide historic levels of support for older adults. The collaboration, led by LeadingAge’s President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan, is signed by leaders of fifteen national organizations, along with eighteen leaders of LeadingAge state partners. Together, the groups serve tens of millions of Americans.

The letter summarizes for the public the “extensive and growing” crisis facing older adults.

  • “Millions of Americans like you rely on home and community-based services to grow older in their own homes, but there aren’t enough professional caregivers to provide assistance with basic needs.”  
  • “Older Americans need a safe, affordable place to live—but there isn’t enough affordable housing.”  
  • “Half of all Americans will need the help of a home care worker, nursing assistant and other caregiving professional at some point as they age—but the country’s workforce does not include enough of them.”

“We can’t miss this opportunity to increase home-based care, affordable senior housing, and the full range of aging services across the country.  Don’t let this moment pass,” the leaders write. “Tell your family, friends, neighbors, local media, and elected officials that we can’t miss this opportunity.”

Read the full open letter here

Signatories

National Organizations

  • Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO, LeadingAge
  • Ramsey Alwin, President & CEO, National Council on Aging
  • Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO, Lutheran Services in America
  • Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Karyne Jones, President and CEO, National Caucus and Center on Black Aging
  • Mary Kemper, President & CEO, United Methodist Association
  • Mike King, President and CEO, Volunteers of America
  • David Lawrenz, Executive Director, Fellowship of the Brethren Homes
  • Karen E. Lehman, President & CEO, Mennonite Health Services
  • Jane Mack, President and CEO, Friends Services Alliance
  • Cindy Ray, M.Div, Executive Director, Presbyterian Association of Homes & Services for the Aging
  • Michael J. Readinger, President and CEO, The Council for Health & Human Service Ministries, United Church of Christ
  • Reuben D. Rotman, President & CEO, Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
  • Don Shulman, President and CEO, Association of Jewish Aging Services
  • Jodi M. Sturgeon, President, PHI
LeadingAge State Partners 
  • Jeannee Parker Martin, President and CEO, LeadingAge California
  • Laura Landwirth, President and CEO, LeadingAge Colorado
  • Mag Morelli, President, LeadingAge Connecticut
  • Ginny Helms, President, LeadingAge Georgia
  • Angela Schnepf, MBA, CAE, President and CEO, LeadingAge Illinois
  • Debra Harmon Zehr, President and CEO, LeadingAge Kansas
  • Lisa Henderson, Executive Director, LeadingAge Maine & New Hampshire
  • Allison Roenigk Ciborowski, President and CEO, LeadingAge Maryland
  • Elissa Sherman, President, LeadingAge Massachusetts
  • Kari Thurlow, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota
  • Bill Bates, CEO, LeadingAge Missouri
  • Kierstin Reed, CEO, LeadingAge Nebraska
  • Jim McCracken, President and CEO, LeadingAge New Jersey & Delaware
  • Kathryn Brod, President and CEO, LeadingAge Ohio
  • Mary Brinkley, Executive Director, LeadingAge Oklahoma
  • Ruth Gulyas, CEO, LeadingAge Oregon
  • Gwyn E. Earl, Executive Director, LeadingAge Tennessee
  • Melissa Andrews, President and CEO, LeadingAge Virginia
  • John Sauer, President and CEO, LeadingAge Wisconsin
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.