Responded to Important Events

February came in like a lion, with a flurry of activity to which LeadingAge responded with a combination of celebration, hard work, and dogged preparedness.

HUD Funding Announcement: We celebrated on Feb. 7 when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $51 million to 18 organizations, including 11 LeadingAge members, to build and operate affordable housing for older adults with very low incomes. LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan attributed the victory, in part, to LeadingAge’s strong advocacy, over many years, to ensure “our nation’s stock of affordable housing for older adults is both preserved and expanded.”

President’s Budget Request: The President delivered his fiscal year 2021 (FY21) budget request to Congress on Feb. 10, beginning the process through which Congress determines funding levels for federal programs. Our experts immediately delved into the details of the budget request and shared their assessment with members and with McKnight’s Senior Living.

HOSPICE Act: On Feb. 10, we celebrated again when the HOSPICE Act (H.R. 5821) was introduced in Congress. The bill addresses hospice survey transparency, consistency, and frequency; education of both consumers and surveyors; and the authorization of new remedies. LeadingAge and our partners VNAA/ElevatingHOME worked with other hospice stakeholders to formulate recommendations that influenced the bill’s final version.

ANSI Hearing: On Feb. 18, LeadingAge, American Seniors Housing Association, and National Center for Assisted Living jointly argued their appeals of Argentum’s designation as an Accredited Standards Developer by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Coronavirus: By late February, it became apparent that the coronavirus was raising concerns among health officials, providers, and older consumers around the country. LeadingAge team members followed the developing situation closely, learned from and conferred with officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and shared guidance with LeadingAge members through an array of resources to help all members, and housing providers in particular, prepare for this unprecedented health emergency. We will continue these efforts in the coming weeks and months.

Election 2020: We collected almost 700 signatures for a #DearCandidate petition urging candidates to “discuss issues that affect older adults and their families.” Help us reach our goal of 5,000 signatures by signing the petition today.

Created our own News

LeadingAge released 3 important publications in February that promise to influence conversations about long-term services and supports (LTSS) over the next year and beyond.

Policy Priorities: On Feb. 4, we unveiled our 2020 Policy Priorities, which will guide our advocacy efforts at the federal and state level over the next year. “We look to members of LeadingAge and the people they serve to engage and take action – it takes a village to educate policy makers and push aggressively for change,” wrote Ruth Katz, senior vice president of policy/advocacy.

LTSS Center Report: The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston released its 2019 Annual Report on Feb. 6. The report explores how the 3-year-old LTSS Center has increased the depth of its research agenda, forged bonds with new partners, and expanded its research team.

Nursing Home Closures: On Feb. 25, LeadingAge announced the release of Nursing Home Closures and Trends: June 2015-June 2019, which offers a frank assessment of the potential shortage of skilled nursing and caregiving options, and recommends next steps for policy makers and nursing homes. News of the report appeared in Home Health Care News, Skilled Nursing News, and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Developed Resources for You

We created several resources for you in February, including:

  • A new episode of the Aging Unmasked podcast exploring love and romance as we age.
  • An interview with our February LeadingAge Catalyst, who was recognized for her commitment to helping people living with dementia live their best lives.
  • A Spotlight on LGBT Inclusion and a QuickCast on Adaptive Reuse and Alternative Housing, now available from the LeadingAge Learning Hub. We also hosted a successful webinar on “Crisis Communications: Messaging Negative Publicity.”

Provided Thought Leadership

LeadingAge team members shared their expertise with a variety of audiences in February.

Majd Alwan, senior vice president of business strategy and executive director of the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies, predicted a beefed-up wireless bandwidth, and a resurgence of telehealth, during an interview with McKnight’s Senior Living.

Robyn Stone, senior vice president of research and co-director of the LTSS Center, discussed LTSS worker shortages in rural areas with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and described how the home care workforce fits into health care’s future for the Home Health Care News “Disrupt” podcast. Alisha Sanders, director of housing and services policy research, joined Stone on a February trip to Singapore, where they shared the LTSS Center’s housing plus services research with health officials.

Began New Research

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Boston started work on a new LeadingAge-funded study of how increased compensation for direct care workers could favorably impact the national economy, the LTSS field, and individual direct care workers. The research, managed by the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, is expected to be completed this summer.

Prepared for Upcoming Events

Big events don’t come together overnight. They are only successful if you devote time to thoughtful planning and careful implementation. That’s why LeadingAge spent much of February preparing for: