Because the COVID-19 pandemic risk to our well being and economic system nonetheless rages on, nobody is extra on the entrance traces of the pandemic than seniors and caregivers.
As the manager director of the Pennsylvania Assisted Dwelling Affiliation, I’ve witnessed the response of our private care and assisted residing caregivers — I couldn’t be prouder of them. We’re not nursing properties. Our members present seniors with an unbiased residing setting and personalised care 24 hours a day, seven days per week. But the help for senior residing suppliers, notably within the American Rescue Plan is abysmal. Lower than 2% of funding is being allotted to assisted residing facilities.
Within the face of woefully gradual aid handed in Congress final December, coupled with over $15 billion in losses as a consequence of elevated bills, and report low occupancy charges, the non-public care and assisted residing suppliers we name dwelling for our mother and father and grandparents are in disaster. What does this imply for these communities we name dwelling? Over half of non-public care and assisted residing suppliers anticipate closures inside the subsequent 12 months if significant aid doesn’t come.
Whereas prisons, jails and detention facilities have their prices for PPE, testing and vaccines coated within the invoice, there’s little aid for our seniors who’re on the entrance traces of COVID-19. If these communities shut, seniors will lose their properties, and staff will likely be laid off. The $6.2 billion financial affect that senior residing communities present in Pennsylvania will little question shrink dramatically.
However there’s extra at stake on this invoice than the economic system. The standard of life for our nation’s most weak is in jeopardy. As the brand new Congress and administration get to work, lifesaving vaccinations, efficient testing, and operational help for senior residing should be prioritized.
Eliminating this virus from senior residing communities, and protecting these communities open would require enough funding. I strongly encourage you to ask our leaders in Washington to not depart our seniors behind.
Margie Zelenak is the manager director of the Pennsylvania Assisted Dwelling Affiliation.