WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) and Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3) reintroduced the Safeguarding Elderly Needs for Infrastructure and Occupational Resources (SENIOR) Act, bipartisan legislation to address the critical issues causing assisted senior-living facilities to operate at steep financial losses as they continue caring for their residents.

“Senior-living facilities have been facing financial and staffing difficulties since the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “The unprecedented workload and financial loss have caused facilities to close and seniors to not receive the proper level of care needed. I’m proud to reintroduce the bipartisan SENIOR Act with Congresswoman Trahan to ensure assisted living communities are provided with the funding and support they need to keep their doors open and care for our elderly.”

“Across America, our seniors depend on the lifesaving, high-quality services offered by assisted-living facilities. When this care becomes financially unattainable for seniors, those who cannot afford more expensive options lose their lifelines and risk being left behind. To make matters worse, these assisted living-facilities will suffer because of the loss of patients, further increasing costs and straining resources,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “We owe it to our loved ones to make our senior’s health and wellbeing a top priority. That is why I’m proud to reintroduce the bipartisan SENIOR Act, which will ensure that assisted living facilities are able to keep their doors open and specialized caregivers on staff so they can continue caring for our nation’s seniors for years to come.”

Assisted living facilities provide around-the-clock care to nearly 2 million seniors nationwide. Despite the resident population being highly susceptible to severe illness, including COVID-19, the flu, and RSV, these facilities received less than one percent of provider relief funding allocated by Congress at the height of the pandemic. That lack of relief forced facilities to operate at severe losses, estimated at more than $30 billion, to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, tests, hazard pay, and more.

The SENIOR Act takes a two-pronged approach to ensure that assisted living facilities are able to continue providing critical care to their senior residents. First, the bipartisan legislation directs the U.S. Department of Labor and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to establish new and expand existing workforce development programs to strengthen the pipeline and incentivize the development of a stronger geriatric workforce. Second, the bill establishes a “Senior Care Cost Reduction Program” that allows States to administer monthly cost reduction amounts to low-income seniors to allow them to access assisted living facilities as opposed to nursing homes. 

Click here for the bill text.