Urgent Action Alert: Please Contact Congress To Support Senior Living in HHS Grant Program
While senior living was not specifically called out in the CARES Act’s $100 billion Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund, we are eligible to apply for support from the fund. Argentum and ASHA have sent a letter to Secretary Azar requesting he designate $20 billion for senior living.
We’ve also sent a letter to key Congressional leaders and are requesting that you contact your member of Congress, and any members on the attached list, and ask them to urge Secretary Azar to designate these funds for senior living. If you have a personal relationship, please try to call and speak to your member or their chief of staff. Here is a sample letter for you to customize and use.
Below are talking points to assist with those conversations:
- Senior living includes independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities.
- We serve almost 2 million seniors and employ almost 1 million workers.
- Senior living communities are not nursing homes, but we are a critical part of the healthcare system.
- We care for the population most vulnerable to being infected and to succumb to COVID-19.
- With adequate PPE and testing kits, we can prevent the spread of the disease.
- But the financial impact will take a toll on the industry.
- Senior living is need-driven. If the industry cannot survive this financial crisis, seniors today and in the future will have no place to live.
- Whether a community is infected or not, they will all incur additional costs to prevent the spread of the disease. But infected communities will incur more expenses.
- Lost revenue and increase in expenses is projected at $40–$57 billion over the next year.
- The increase in labor costs for a stable community is as much as 8% (for communities with a COVID-19 diagnosis, it is as much as 18%).
- The increase in non-labor costs (infection control supplies and PPE) for a stable community can be up to 73% (for communities with a COVID-19 diagnosis, up to 103%).
- Lost revenue is estimated around 8–23%.
North Carolina Assisted Living Association