Alexandria, VA, Jan. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At Argentum, we look forward to working with President-elect Biden and his administration in continuing to address the tremendous impact that COVID-19 has had on the senior living industry, in particular. We agree wholeheartedly with the statement that the bipartisan action in December was just a “down payment” on tackling the ongoing problems associated with the pandemic. The senior living-related provisions offered in the most recent legislative package were woefully inadequate. Seniors and their caregivers need more support and relief—and it is needed now.

Following today’s announcement on the American Rescue Plan, we are pleased to see emphasis on improving the country’s vaccination plan, investing in better testing, and in protecting the country’s most vulnerable citizens. Now, 10 months in the pandemic, the senior living industry is still grappling with rising costs and declining occupancy due to COVID-19, so it is essential that the American Rescue Plan includes additional funding for these providers to support ongoing operations. This will ensure vulnerable seniors can continue living in their homes and it will support the dedicated senior living workforce all across the industry caring for them.

Additionally, as vaccinations continue to be administered across the country, it is imperative that those in senior congregate care settings continue to be prioritized. This includes both seniors—regardless of care level—and those caring for them, in order to maximize vaccine effectiveness. We believe states should be taking cues from the CDC’s recommended prioritization plan and have expressed concern over the broader vaccine approach recently recommended by the Trump administration. This approach may leave seniors and their caregivers behind.

It is also essential that testing continues to improve and that tests are provided regularly to senior living communities. Rapid, efficient, effective, and reliable testing is critical to identifying possible cases of COVID-19 so communities can move quickly to isolate any possible future cases and reduce the likelihood of outbreak.

It also cannot be overstated how important all of these measures will be in helping to combat the growing crisis of loneliness among seniors caused by COVID-19. From the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been clear that older adults are most at risk from the harmful effects of COVID-19. Protecting them and the staff who serve them needs to remain a legislative priority.

Jessica McKay
Argentum
5715272624
jmckay@argentum.org