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Contact: Paul Williams, pwilliams@alfa.org or 703.562.1183

ALEXANDRIA, VA – September 18, 2009 – The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for acknowledging the growing demand for services for frail seniors and for recognizing the importance and value of caregiving for seniors.

“We are grateful that the House of Representatives has recognized the contribution of caregivers in meeting the needs of a rapidly aging population,” says Richard Grimes, ALFA’s president/CEO. “Assisted living providers have expanded the options for seniors in the United States and led the way in developing innovative ways for seniors to remain independent and age with dignity and respect.”

“As Congress grapples with the enormous challenge of reforming the nation’s health-care system, we hope they will not overlook the non-medical needs of seniors which can be more difficult for individual families to meet,” Grimes adds. “The assisted living business proudly stands as a model for resident-focused and cost-effective caregiving.”

The U.S. House approved a resolution on September 14, 2009, which recognizes caregiving, both paid and unpaid, as a profession and requires the federal government to take steps and adopt policies to support the efforts of family caregivers and others who care for frail seniors.

The resolution specifically encourages the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to educate the public on the impact of aging and importance of knowing all options available to seniors to meet their personal needs.

With the population of those 85 and older expected to reach 9.6 million in 2030 and then double by 2050, care demands for seniors and seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are expected to hit record highs. Today more than one fourth of all seniors need some help with the activities of daily life

Assisted living is the fastest growing long-term care option in America because its philosophy of care provides resident-centered care in a non-institutional setting, which allows seniors to maintain control over their lives as they get the help they need to remain independent.

The resolution states that the U.S. Department of Labor expects paid senior caregivers will be working more than 4.3 billion hours annually by the year 2025. Today an estimated 725,000 non-family, privately paid senior caregivers work on the front lines of senior living.

The resolution was sent to the Senate for consideration.

 

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About ALFA: The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the largest national association serving companies operating professionally managed assisted living communities for seniors. ALFA is the voice for senior living and advocates for informed choice, quality care and accessibility for all Americans needing assistance with long term care. For more information visit www.alfa.org.

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