Statement From Katie Smith Sloan on Congressional Relief Package

PRESS RELEASE | September 17, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

Because older adults are bearing the brunt of this virus, they must be prioritized in whatever relief packages Congress considers

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

September 17, 2020, Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, as the President calls for a robust new relief package.

“As the COVID-19 death toll approaches 200,000, it’s time for Congressional leaders to resume their negotiations and quickly come to a deal on a new COVID-19 relief package that will save lives. It is shameful that Congress has failed to enact legislation to address the immense and urgent needs of the American peopleespecially older adults.

What’s unconscionable is how many of our elected leaders in recent months have remained silent about the challenges faced by older adults and the people who care for them. Since four in five COVID-19 deaths have been among people 65 and older, it is imperative that any COVID-19 relief proposal prioritize older Americans and the providers who care for them.

As aging services providers work to keep our most vulnerable population safe, they are struggling to access and pay for the personal protective equipment, testing, supplies, and staffing they need to fight this healthcare battle. Their COVID-19-related costs are staggering, they are mounting, and they are unsustainable. Some providers are shutting down, and more will followunless Congress steps up and provides robust support.

More than 140,000 older Americans have lost their lives; now, many more who live in nursing homes are in danger of losing their communities and the care they have depended on. What does it say about our society if Congress ignores and leaves these Americans behind?”

As LeadingAge’s recent Situation Report outlined:

  • 80% of all COVID-19 deaths are among people 65 and oldera death rate at least 90 times higher than for 18-29 year-olds.
  • 1 in 6 Americans is aged 65 or older. That’s 52 million peoplemore than 16% of the population.
  • More than 207,000 nursing home residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 51,000 have died.
About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org