Statement From LeadingAge in Response to President Trump's Announcement of New Nursing Home Support

PRESS RELEASE | July 22, 2020 | by Susan Donley

Contact: Susan Donley
sdonley@leadingage.org, 202-508-1209

July 22, 2020, Washington, DC -- Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, including nursing homes, as President Trump announced new COVID-19 support for nursing homes.

“Rapid, repeat testing is among the most critical tools for nursing homes, which are ground zero for the virus. Nearly half of COVID-19 deaths are nursing home residents and staff. That is why we’ve been shouting for federal support for testing and other life-saving supplies and resources for months.

Tonight’s announcement of $5 billion for nursing homes from the Provider Relief Fund is a good next step, but any effort must be backed by a coordinated national plan that will help protect millions of older adults. There are important unanswered questions about this program, including how far this funding will go to support the new mandate of increased staff testing. We look forward to learning more.

Perhaps the most important question our members and millions of older adults and their families have: Is this yet another patch in the patchwork federal response we’ve seen from the administration so far? Or is this announcement a signal that real relief is on its way?

What vulnerable older adults and their care providers really need--in nursing homes and across all settings--is meaningful support from Congress in the next COVID-19 relief package and a comprehensive strategy from the White House, and we need aging services providers placed at the front of the line alongside hospitals. The lives of millions of older adults are at stake.”

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