Fitzpatrick cosponsors bipartisan SENIOR Act to safeguard long-term elderly care

A bipartisan bill cosponsored on March 8 by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) would ensure assisted-living communities are provided with the funding and support they need to keep their doors open and care for the elderly.

The Safeguarding Elderly Needs for Infrastructure and Occupational Resources (SENIOR) Act of 2024, H.R. 7605, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA), would address the issues causing assisted senior-living facilities to operate at steep financial losses, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers, by focusing on the nation’s worsening long-term care workforce crisis, while increasing access to and affordability of long-term care.

“Senior-living facilities have been facing financial and staffing difficulties since the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “The unprecedented workload and financial loss have caused facilities to close and seniors to not receive the proper level of care needed.” 

If enacted, H.R. 7605 would direct the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. 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, the summary says. 

Secondly, the bill would establish 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, states the summary.

The measure is under consideration by both the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“We owe it to our loved ones to make our senior’s health and well-being a top priority,” Rep. Trahan said. “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.”