March 25, 2022

Pandemic crisis ‘far from over’ in senior living, Argentum tells White House

McKnight Senior Living

While the nation turns the page on the crisis stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentum is asking the Biden administration to redouble its efforts to help vulnerable older adults and their frontline caregivers.

In a letter to President Biden in advance of the release of the administration’s budget priorities yesterday, Argentum President and CEO James Balda reiterated the advocacy group’s call for federal assistance, including targeted financial relief for providers, renewal of a public-private partnership on vaccine and booster shots, and workforce training programs to address staffing shortages.

With the rise in omicron subvariants accelerating and ongoing pandemic-related financial stress, Balda said that now is the most crucial time for the White House to step up and help. He said the “pandemic, much less the crisis stage, is far from over” for the almost 2 million older adults in assisted living, memory care, independent living and continuing care retirement communities.

Argentum estimates that senior living communities have incurred more than $30 billion in pandemic expenses and losses, Balda reiterated. The current Phase 4 distributionsfrom the Provider Relief Fund reimburse providers for less than one fourth of their losses at a time when losses increased by 300%, he added. 

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