Statement From Katie Smith Sloan in Reaction to President's Assertion That Nursing Homes are Protected Like Never Before

PRESS RELEASE | August 10, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

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

August 10, 2020, Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes.

In tonight’s press briefing, the President said that nursing homes and residents are being protected like never before. In fact, they are in jeopardy like never before because of months of Administration neglect, denial and unforced errors.

America’s nursing homes are struggling to care for the most vulnerable citizens with far too little help from the Administration and Congress. Care providers don’t have the resources they need to pay for PPE and timely testing to keep the virus out. Providers are coping with unprecedented staff stress, shortages, costly extra shifts, and paying competitive wages and hero bonuses to protect older adults.

Our nonprofit aging service providers are falling off a cliff, while the President claims they are on steady ground.  

The President said distribution of tests is underway. But few nursing homes have received testing equipment and supplies, even among the high-priority homes named weeks ago. We need real action now. Our hopes have been dashed too many times by Administration promises that PPE was on the way--only to find that federal shipments were often late, paltry and in too many cases unusable. Our hope is that we don’t have the same experience with the testing equipment.

The only way out of this crisis is to add significant, specific funding and resources to the HEALs Act in order to provide an immediate infusion of real resources that can enable rapid testing, PPE purchases and support for increased staffing and cleaning costs.

That’s what it will take to protect nursing homes like never before.

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