April 18, 2023

White House Executive Order Addresses Aging Services

April 18, 2023

Executive Order Focuses on Caregiving

Today, the Biden Administration announced a series of initiatives it says will improve care for older adults and families in an Executive Order that addresses workforce, home care, and nursing homes. The announcement will be made in a Rose Garden ceremony this afternoon, which our President and CEO Katie Sloan Smith will attend.

Following are excerpts from the order that are most relevant to our sector. Our national policy team sees both positive and negative impacts for providers and is analyzing the details now. Watch for more information and our next steps on the What’s New page at leadingage.org.

Enhance job quality for long-term care workers. The President is committed to improving the quality of long-term care jobs in this country so that Americans can get the reliable, high-quality care they deserve—whether it is in their homes and communities or in nursing homes. To advance the President’s long-term care priorities, the Executive Order directs Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider issuing several regulations and guidance documents to improve the quality of home care jobs, including by leveraging Medicaid funding to ensure there are enough home care workers to provide care to seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicaid, as well as build on the minimum staffing standards for nursing homes and condition a portion of Medicare payments on how well a nursing home retains workers.

Support family caregivers. Without adequate resources, family caregiving can affect caregivers’ physical and emotional health and well-being and contribute to financial strain. These negative consequences are felt most acutely by women, who make up nearly two-thirds of family caregivers and who drop out of the workforce at higher rates than men. To provide greater support to family caregivers, the Executive Order directs HHS to consider testing a new dementia care model that will include support for respite care (short-term help to give a primary family caregiver a break) and make it easier for family caregivers to access Medicare beneficiary information and provide more support to family caregivers during the hospital discharge planning process. Additionally, VA will consider expanding access to the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers and provide more mental health support for caregivers enrolled in that program. These actions build on the 2022 National Strategy to Support Caregivers.

Advance domestic workers’ rights. Care workers should be supported, valued, and fairly compensated, and care workers should have the free and fair choice to join a union. In particular, domestic workers providing care for our loved ones are often underpaid and subject to discrimination and abuse. To provide greater protection for these workers, the Department of Labor will publish a sample employment agreement so domestic child care and long-term care workers and their employers can ensure both parties better understand their rights and responsibilities.

Engage affected communities. To make the delivery and design of federal care assistance and programs work better for families, the care workforce, and people seeking care, the Treasury and the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Veterans Affairs, will engage with parents, guardians, and other relatives with care responsibilities; individuals receiving long-term care; State and local care experts; care providers and workers; employers; and labor unions. The Executive Order also encourages the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to consider conducting similar engagement.

April 18, 2023

Press Release: LeadingAge Reax on Biden Caregiving Executive Order

When too many American families – including older adults – cannot access the care and services they desperately need, today’s Executive Order brings much-needed attention, but not adequate solutions, to the long-term care sector, Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, released the following statement. 

Read more of LeadingAge’s statement here.

April 18, 2023

LeadingAge's Initial Analysis of Executive Order to Support Caregivers

In its release today of a “Most Sweeping Set of Executive Actions to Improve Care in History,” the Biden Administration outlined several new plans ostensibly targeted at supporting care workers and family caregivers. Continuing a framework set out early in the Biden campaign, the strategy targets caregivers and workers in childcare, aging services, and services for people with disabilities.

The fact sheet outlines ambitious goals at a very high level; as the details emerge, providers will be able to gain a practical understanding of how these sweeping actions will improve care. While many of the plans announced in the document have been announced before, a number of the elements appear to be new.

Read the full LeadingAge member-only article here.