Now a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of assisted living facilities are still waiting for federal COVID-19 relief, and for over half of them, closures are imminent, according to a recent Argentum member survey. They have faced over $15 billion in increased expenses and lost revenue, and these figures are increasing substantially each month. Meanwhile, provisions in the current COVID-19 relief package negotiated in the House of Representatives fall woefully short in protecting these seniors and caregivers.
“We are extremely disappointed that ongoing negotiations on the latest COVID-19 relief package continue to leave behind these vulnerable seniors and those who care for them,” said James Balda, president and CEO of Argentum. “The bill’s language does not come close to adequately addressing the urgent needs for those most at risk to COVID-19: residents of long-term care. These care providers cannot wait any longer—the situation is dire.”
It is with certainty that older adults are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and for a year, assisted living providers have been taking on high costs of PPE; providing for added staffing needs and offering hero pay; procuring tests; and seeing sharp declines in occupancy rates due to COVID-19 restrictions, all without the federal relief needed. It is essential that the next COVID-19 relief package offers targeted relief to caregivers such as assisted living, independent living, memory care, and continuing care facilities to help with PPE, staffing, and testing needs. Any legislation must include $5 billion in funding for these communities.
“We are fervently asking Congress not to overlook seniors and their caregivers in their negotiations, and we are calling on the administration to process promised relief payments now, before it’s too late,” said Balda. Read more.
How Can You Help?
Participate in our Standing With Seniors letter-writing campaign and ask Congress to prioritize seniors and their caregivers in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. Send a pre-written letter today: