See Argentum’s press announcements from the Senior Living Executive Conference in Phoenix.

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The adage says that you can’t be in two places at once, but through Argentum, senior living advocates are able to have their voices heard in Washington while serving their communities.
In the past three months alone, Argentum has:

What it means to you

Last year, Argentum was successful in many advocacy initiatives that made and will continue to make a difference down to the individual community level:

Paving the way

Unfortunately, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package did not include any dedicated relief for long-term care facilities, including senior living.

While these amendments were not adopted, the efforts are not in vain. Our tireless efforts educating lawmakers on the critical needs of senior living operators is paving the way for future action. At the time of publication, letters are circulating on Capitol Hill at the request of Argentum: Bipartisan groups of lawmakers are urging the Biden administration for a fair and equitable allocation of the estimated $23 billion in remaining relief funds to senior living providers.

These letters, combined with the letter we sent to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra immediately following his confirmation, help underscore the need for relief.

It’s been just over a year since the pandemic dramatically altered our lives. A year ago, we could never have imagined the sheer scope of its horrifying impact, but so too we could never have imagined the progress we are making as cases plummet.

As communities begin to return to normal, Argentum will remain on the front lines advocating on behalf of the nearly 2 million seniors who call our communities home and our million caregivers who serve them. We remain committed to securing immediate financial relief through any means possible to recoup losses sustained from serving this most at-risk population, and counteracting increased oversight and scrutiny as we work to preserve the state regulatory oversight model that has served our communities and residents for decades.

Together, we can and will lead the industry in our advocacy efforts. We encourage everyone in the industry to join Argentum Advocates, a free program designed to educate and engage individuals who are interested in advocacy and policy issues related to the senior living industry. Collectively, we can influence change that will improve senior living care and services.


EXPERT TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY

These are challenging times for senior living—and the challenges are going to continue. We do have champions at federal, state, and local levels. But we still need you to tell your story.

To help, here are some insider tips from Argentum’s Public Policy Institute Grassroots 101 presentation.

Do the easy part first. Sign up for Argentum Advocates. You’ll get information and tools sent to you. In addition, Argentum creates letters to Congress on different issues, and all you need to do is read, sign, and click—the message will be delivered directly to your representative and senators.

Have an “ask.” Be specific about what you want to change or accomplish. Often, a meeting with an official can go very well—but after it’s over, they’re left wondering what you really want. Make it clear and direct as you get quickly to the point.

Get your ask to the decision-maker. Argentum and its state partners can help you find out the who and how of getting in touch with the right person.

Tell them why your ask is important. This is probably the most important part, Argentum’s policy experts say. People need to know why they should care. This is where your story is critical—your story about residents, families, and your community. Until the connection is made to why they should care, no action occurs.

Know who you are educating. The people you’re talking to may understand senior issues, and they may understand skilled nursing—but that doesn’t mean they understand the nuances of senior living. Stay away from acronyms and jargon. Some have the impression all senior living is for active adults and don’t understand that residents need help with activities of daily living, that they’re vulnerable, and that they may be experiencing cognitive decline. They also don’t know about the good work you and associates do every day and the families you help. You can make these real to decision-makers.

Follow up. Start work on a follow-up message even before you go in, with thanks and a reiteration of your ask. A day full of meetings can become a blur to officials.

Keep it brief and focused. A great tip to keep from going off track is to let the elected official introduce themselves first and keep your introductions as brief as possible. Don’t get lulled into chatting about the home district and people and places in common. Your ask and your story are what matter.

Know the data, but save it for later. Your story is more powerful than numbers. However, data about how many residents are in your community, how many older adults are in assisted living, and the economic impact of senior living in your state (see seniorlivingimpact.org) can all help. You can offer this information to a staffer, as a follow-up, or as a leave-behind.

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