PRESS RELEASE | JANUARY 11, 2022

“Open Letter” from leaders of national and state nonprofits focused on older adults and families spells out crises in affordable housing, home and community-based services, and staffing shortages as nation’s population ages. “Our futures will be decided in the coming weeks--Don’t let this moment pass.”

Contact: Lisa Sanders, [email protected] 202-508-9407

January 11, 2022, Washington, DC—In an unusual joint letter issued to the American people today, thirty-three leaders of aging services, health and social support nonprofit organizations detail a growing crisis in aging services and call on Americans to make sure that elected officials stand by “the most consequential programs and initiatives affecting older adults and families in decades.” READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE.

 

Open Letter to the Public on Build Back Better

January 11, 2022

Dear Fellow Americans,

Our futures will be decided in the coming weeks. We’re all aging—and for so many of us who are receiving help as we age, who are caring for an older loved one or anyone who might do so one day, now is the time to act.

We represent nonprofit organizations that provide care and services for millions of older Americans and their families, and want to share a few critical facts about what older Americans and their families need from Congress right now.

Millions of Americans like you rely on home and community-based services to grow older in their own homes—but there aren’t enough professional caregivers to provide assistance with basic needs, such as dropping off groceries for your aunt, giving your mother a bath, or driving you to a medical appointment.

Older Americans need a safe, affordable place to live—but there isn’t enough affordable housing for people who, despite having worked over their lifetimes, cannot afford their rent—or those who have to choose between paying rent and buying medicine or food. Demand for affordable senior housing is so great that many people languish on waiting lists for years with no guarantee of ever accessing a home.

Half of all Americans will need the help of a home care worker, nursing assistant and other caregiving professional at some point as they age—but the country’s workforce does not include enough of them. That’s why Congress must deliver long-overdue workforce investments to ensure our long-term care system isn’t crushed under the weight of increasing demand as our country ages.

The needs are extensive and growing. Why? Because our country hasn't yet made the needed investment in a caring infrastructure strong enough to keep up as our population grows older.

Every American has a right to receive a basic level of housing, healthcare, and essential support, regardless of age. But the lack of public commitment to and financial support for our country’s aging services infrastructure—including essential caregiving professionals—means that you, or your family or neighbors are denied access to these fundamental services. It is time to ensure that all of us can access the care and support we need as we age.

The Build Back Better Act includes the most consequential programs and initiatives affecting older adults and families in decades. Don’t let this moment pass. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, local media, and elected officials that we can’t miss this opportunity to increase home-based care, affordable senior housing, and the full range of aging services across the country. We need action now.

Sincerely,

Katie Smith Sloan President and CEO LeadingAge

Ramsey Alwin President & CEO National Council on Aging

Charlotte Haberaecker President and CEO Lutheran Services in America

Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM President and CEO Catholic Health Association of the United States

Karyne Jones President and CEO National Caucus and Center on Black Aging

Mary Kemper President & CEO United Methodist Association

Mike King President and CEO Volunteers of America

David Lawrenz Executive Director Fellowship of the Brethren Homes

Karen E. Lehman President & CEO Mennonite Health Services

Jane Mack President and CEO Friends Services Alliance

Cindy Ray, M.Div Executive Director Presbyterian Association of Homes & Services for the Aging

Michael J. Readinger President and CEO The Council for Health & Human Service Ministries, United Church of Christ

Reuben D. Rotman President & CEO Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies

Don Shulman President and CEO Association of Jewish Aging Services

Jodi M. Sturgeon President PHI

Jeannee Parker Martin President and CEO LeadingAge California

Laura Landwirth President and CEO LeadingAge Colorado

Mag Morelli President LeadingAge Connecticut

Ginny Helms President LeadingAge Georgia

Angela Schnepf, MBA, CAE President and CEO LeadingAge Illinois

Debra Harmon Zehr President and CEO LeadingAge Kansas

Lisa Henderson Executive Director LeadingAge Maine & New Hampshire

Allison Roenigk Ciborowski President & CEO LeadingAge Maryland

Elissa Sherman President LeadingAge Massachusetts

Kari Thurlow President and CEO LeadingAge Minnesota

Bill Bates CEO LeadingAge Missouri

Kierstin Reed CEO LeadingAge Nebraska

Jim McCracken President and CEO LeadingAge New Jersey & Delaware

Kathryn Brod President and CEO LeadingAge Ohio

Mary Brinkley Executive Director LeadingAge Oklahoma

Ruth Gulyas CEO LeadingAge Oregon

Gwyn E. Earl Executive Director LeadingAge Tennessee

Melissa Andrews President and CEO LeadingAge Virginia

John Sauer President and CEO LeadingAge Wisconsin