June 11, 2020 Advocacy Alert

Tell Senators to Support Older Americans In Next Coronavirus Relief Bill

Join Aging Advocates for a National Call-In Week Next Week

June 11, 2020

Last month the House passed a $3 trillion relief measure, the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800, to send nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments to fill budget gaps, another round of stimulus checks to many individuals, and other significant investments in safety-net programs, including $85 million for OAA programs.
However, the Senate seems to be in no rush to act, and in order to move another round of relief to states and communities—including to the Aging Network—Senators must hear from local advocates about critical priorities—specifically the need to alleviate widespread social isolation and loneliness among older adults during and beyond the current crisis.
n4a is joining dozens of other national aging advocacy organizations in participating in next week’s (June 15-19) call-in effort hosted by the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO). Our shared goal is to raise the level of noise from the field on the older adults who are most affected by COVID-19. Please join us in calling the Senate next week—and more importantly, urge your grassroots networks to also take action!
Action Requested:
→Use and promote LCAO’s toll-free call-in number and n4a’s simple script for calls. This is especially important if you have a Republican Senator(s)! We are hearing that the Senate majority doesn’t understand why there is an urgent need to act.
  • Call 1-855-626-6011 to be automatically connected to the congressional switchboard to ask for your Senator. Once you have your Senator’s office on the line, you can use the following script to explain why you are calling and what you want your Senators to do.
Hello, my name is [Your Name] and I am calling from [City, State] to urge the Senator to take action to support older Americans and family caregivers who are facing extremely difficult challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older adults are facing disproportionate risk from the virus. Tragically, nearly 80 percent of deaths from COVID-19 have been among adults 65 years and older.
I hope the Senator will support Senate action to pass a relief bill that specifically helps older adults live safely in their homes by providing supports and services like access to in-home supports and nutrition and to prevent harmful social isolation as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Specifically, I urge Senator [NAME] to:
  • Support additional federal funding for state Medicaid programs to prevent devastating cuts to the home and community-based services that millions of older adults rely upon to live independently at home—and therefore avoid nursing home placement; and
  • Support additional federal funding for the Aging Network’s community-based efforts to help prevent and relieve social isolation and loneliness among older adults, which is a rising problem now that older adults are staying safe at home.
[Add any detail about why any/all of these asks are vital in your community]. In closing, I urge the Senator to support older Americans in the next COVID-19 package! Thank you.
Urge your agency stakeholders and grassroots to call the Senate as well! Feel free to adapt this alert and its talking points to reflect your advocates and community! No time? At least forward this alert to your colleagues, advisory board members and volunteers and urge them to reach out to their Senators.
If you can do more, use n4a’s social media toolkit to engage your Senators and/or send a more detailed request via email. Make sure to tag your Senators in your social posts and urge your agency’s stakeholders and advocacy network to do the same. If you can send an email, use n4a’s recent letter to Senate and House leadership as a guide or, for a simplified version that’s ready to be customized to your agency, use our template. Find how to email them on your Senator’s website.
It is very important that advocates get loud to urge Senators to act to continue to support older Americans in the wake of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis! Without a sense of urgency, the Senate may not take any action.

If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at acampbell@n4a.org and Amy Gotwals at agotwals@n4a.org.

USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!