Contact: Chris Black
The nation’s leading assisted living association presented Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX 25th) with its prestigious 2008 Champion for Seniors in Assisted Living award in recognition of his exemplary work on behalf of America’s seniors.
“America’s seniors will be safer and treated more fairly because of the leadership of Congressman Doggett,’’ said Richard P. Grimes, the President and CEO of the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the national association for professionally managed assisted living providers. “We are deeply grateful for his work on behalf of the seniors we serve.’’
Congressman Doggett sponsored two key pieces of legislation this year, the National Silver Alert Act and the Medicare Part D Home and Community Based Services Co-payment Equity Act. Both bills were priorities for ALFA because they affect the finances and physical safety of seniors who live in assisted living communities.
The National Silver Alert Act (H.R. 6064), approved by the House on a voice vote September 17, helps law enforcement quickly locate missing seniors by creating a national system similar to the Amber Alert system used to locate missing children.
As Americans live longer, the number of seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease is increasing. Wandering is a symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 3 million of the 5 million who suffer from the disease will wander away from their residence at some point.
The National Silver Alert Act creates a voluntary national system building on existing resources to find seniors quickly and safely, creates a position of a Silver Alert Coordinator within the US Department of Justice and authorizes up to $10 million in state grants to develop, refine and maintainstate silver alert systems.
The Medicare Part D Home and Community Services Co-payment Equity Act corrects an apparent oversight in the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program which required residents in assisted living who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid to pay drug co-payments. The measure exempts these so-called dual-eligible recipients from the co-payment and treats them the same as Medicaid recipients in nursing homes.
In effect, the oversight in the law punished seniors for living in assisted living communities. Prescription drug co-payments range from $1 to $5 for each prescription. The typical assisted living resident takes eight to 10 different prescription drugs per month, the same as residents of nursing homes.Drug co-payments for many of these dual-eligible recipients met or exceeded the $55 monthly personal allowance leaving them with no money for shoes, personal hygiene items and other personal items and services. The measure provides financial relief to one million seniors, including 125,000 residents of assisted living communities.
ALFA raises the bar for excellence and serves as the voice for senior living. ALFA advocates for informed choice, quality care, and accessibility for all Americans needing assistance with long-term care.
About the Assisted Living Federation of America
The Assisted Living Federation of America is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally managed assisted living communities for seniors. ALFA’s member-driven programs promote business and operational excellence through national conferences, research, publications, and executive networks. ALFA works to influence public policy by advocating for informed choice, quality care, and accessibility for all Americans.
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