ALFA is grateful to all of our dedicated advocates who participated in the ALFA 2013 Advocacy Fly-In, September 17-18, 2013 in Washington, DC, to advocate on behalf of America’s seniors.
Over 140 senior living executives gathered on Capitol Hill to visit with 300 members of Congress and their staff to educate them about the senior living business, and advocate for the principles of dignity, choice, independence, and quality of life for seniors.
After spending a half-day taking in the Fly-In training and orientation event, advocates were eager to share their message on Capitol Hill.
One of the main goals of the Fly-In was to inform members of Congress and their staff about assisted living, and how it differs from other long-term care settings. Many are surprised to learn about the demographics of the typical assisted living resident, who requires assistance with multiple ADLs and often suffers from two or more chronic conditions.
“Timing for the ALFA Fly-In was perfect because the Commission on Long-Term Care released its report to Congress that day,” said Maribeth Bersani, SVP of Public Policy for ALFA. “This fostered much discussion on what Congress can do to help future generations plan and save for their own long-term care needs.”
Special Committee on Aging
ALFA’s Rick Grimes, Paul Williams and some of ALFA’s top provider CEOs visited the offices of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging (SCOA) and met with some of their top staff members.
The SCOA is the one Senate Committee that has the most direct relationship to the senior living business and thus it is particularly important that they understand what our business is about and the great work we do serving seniors. Specifically, the ALFA representatives met with the staff of Ranking member Senator Susan Collins (R-NH) and, separately with the staff of Chairman Bill Nelson (D-FL).
Staff members indicated their appreciation to ALFA for providing them with information about state assisted living regulations and laws both at the meeting and in prior visits with them. ALFA provider CEOs were able to share their experiences in operating in several states including Florida and Maine and their commitment to strong, effective oversight at the state level.
The Advocate’s Perspective
Kelly Mazza, Executive Director at Benchmark Senior Living and recipient of ALFA's 2012 Senior Living Community Leadership Award, demonstrated her leadership and dedication to seniors through participation in this year's ALFA Advocacy Fly-In.
Mazza participated in three meetings, including one with Erika Solway and Sophie Kasimow, health staff members for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Having met with them on previous occasions, she wanted to reiterate ALFA’s position on assisted living communities remaining regulated on the state level. Mazza referred to Vermont, where she works and resides, and shared how Vermont is closely monitored by the state and work in partnership with the state to ensure residents receive the best possible care and service.
Mazza reviewed the differences between assisted living and skilled nursing in Vermont and throughout the country. Some staffers were aware of many of the distinctions, but most were surprised to learn that 83% of residents pay for assisted living privately. The advocates left each office with an information packet that was extremely helpful in telling the story of assisted living.
"I feel I need to represent my residents, their loved ones, and my teammates on causes and issues that affect us,” said Mazza. “Being able to participate in the ALFA Fly-In as well as state meetings gives me the opportunity to ensure we continue to do what is right for the people we so proudly serve."
Read Advocating for Assisted Living on Capitol Hill to view another advocate's perspective of the 2013 ALFA Advocacy Fly-In.
Additional Background Information
ALFA 2014 Advocacy Fly-In sponsorship opportunities will be posted here when available. Please check back or contact ALFA Sales Team to inquire.
Advocacy Fly-In Sponsor
Thank you Health Care REIT for sponsoring the ALFA Advocacy Day Fly-In.
Health Care REIT has more than three decades of experience in providing capital to premier operators of senior housing. Health Care REIT has detailed knowledge of assisted living and would like to talk with you about how they can be a part of your capital plan. Learn more.
Advocacy Fly-In Sponsor
Thank you LTC Properties, Inc. for sponsoring the ALFA Advocacy Day Fly-In.
LTC Properties is a self-administered real estate investment trust that invests primarily in the long-term care sector of the healthcare industry through the origination of first mortgage loans and acquisition of properties that are leased to numerous long-term care providers. LTC Properties operates in accordance with federal tax laws and regulation governing real estate investment trusts, which enables the company's income to be distributed to its stockholders without federal tax liability to the Company. Learn more.