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ALFA, GSA respond to president's speech

January 21, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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While applauding the support for veterans and families that President Barack Obama expressed in his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is encouraging the nation’s leader and citizens to remember older adults and the family members who care for them.

“We support public policy initiatives that increase access to private-pay solutions for funding long-term services and supports and stand ready to work with the administration and Congress to come together to develop workable and commonsense reforms to address the needs of our nation’s aging population,” ALFA President and CEO James Balda said in a statement.

The country’s graying population creates opportunities and challenges related to healthcare, lifestyle choices, healthy aging and long-term care financing, Balda said. “While senior living communities are working for many people today, there are challenges in providing long-term services and supports,” he added. “For example, finding a way to pay for these services is a growing concern for older adults, persons with disabilities and their families. Anything we can do to expand private-pay options that will alleviate growing pressure on Medicare and Medicaid is well worth pursuing and in the interest of all Americans.”

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), meanwhile, issued a statement “call[ing] on the Obama administration and Congress to maintain a commitment to addressing the challenges and opportunities of an aging society.”

“With older adults being the fastest-growing segment of the country’s population, it becomes increasingly important that our healthcare workforce receive the education and training it needs to deliver state-of-the-art care, which should be affordable to all,” said GSA Executive Director and CEO James Appleby, RPh, MPH. “GSA advocates a continued national dialogue that will steer us toward a healthy, financially secure future for all Americans.”