March 11, 2024

Senior living affordability, workforce development at center of revamped SENIOR Act

McKnights Senior Living

Workforce development and increased access to assisted living are the key provisions of an updated bipartisan bill backed by Argentum.

US Reps. Lori Trahan (D-MA) and Brian Fitpatrick (R-PA) introduced a scaled back Safeguarding Elderly Needs through Innovation & Occupational Resources Act (SENIOR Act) Friday. 

Key provisions include a cost-reduction program to make assisted living more affordable for lower-income older adults and workforce training programs.

A senior care cost reduction program would target affordability in assisted living by providing eligible low-income older adults who are aged 70 or more years with a monthly $1,000 grant to put toward the cost of assisted living. States would have to submit applications to be eligible for funding, which would come from Older Americans Act Title III dollars that fund community-based services that help older adults maintain health and independence, as well as provide access to services.

The bill also would redirect existing Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor workforce training programs, such as Job Corps and American Job Centers, to offer specializations in senior care. Argentum said that that provision would strengthen the senior living labor force by investing in workforce development programs designed to meet the needs of older adults.

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