Statement From LeadingAge on Congressional Relief Legislation

PRESS RELEASE | December 20, 2020

“This is a helpful down payment, but it falls short in providing the necessary relief for older Americans.”

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

December 20, 2020, Washington, DC—Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, as Congressional leaders reach an agreement on a COVID-19 relief package.

“This is a helpful down payment, but it falls short in providing the necessary relief for older Americans—relief that has been urgently needed for the last 10 months to save the lives and better protect and serve older adults who have suffered 80% of coronavirus deaths. Mission not yet accomplished.

This crisis is far from over, and the launch of the vaccine cannot become an excuse to walk away from older Americans. The continuing surge of infection, illness and deaths—and the unsustainable escalation of costs—means that struggling aging care providers need more testing, PPE, staffing support and money than this package provides.

Some providers are shutting down, and more will follow unless the next Congress steps up and provides more robust support. 

The federal government will also need to expedite relief payments, since it has taken months for the government to get the funds Congress appropriated into providers' hands. 

These needs are real and dire, and they continue to grow:

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