Washington, D.C – June 16, 2005
Steve Protulis, testifying at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, urged the quick passage of Senate bill, S.705, introduced by Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) to establish an Interagency Council on Housing and Service Needs of Seniors.
• US Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman
• US Senator Paul Sarbanes Ranking Member
• Committee: US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
• Title: Meeting the Housing and Service Needs of Seniors
• Date: 6/16/05
CONGRESS ALERTED TO SILENT CRISIS WITH AGING IN PLACE NEEDS OF SENIORS
Washington, D.C – June 16, 2005 – Steve Protulis, Executive Director, Elderly Housing Development & Operations Corp. (EHDOC), a non-profit development and management corporation based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and a former member of the Congressional Seniors Commission, testifying at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, urged the quick passage of Senate bill, S.705, introduced by Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) to establish an Interagency Council on Housing and Service Needs of Seniors.
We are facing a crisis in America as the population ages, and no one is talking about it. That is why we call it the Quiet Crisis which was first recognized by the Senior Commission in 2002, commented Protulis.
In 2000, the population over 65 years of age was 34.7 million. This number is expected to grow to over 50 million by 2020; and by the year 2030, nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population will be above 65 years of age, commented Senator Sarbanes when he introduced the bill and noted how important it was to address the needs of this growing population.
Protulis testified that While national data is important for public policy and trends, it is at the community and facility level that data is essential for operations; the one message that is heard consistently is the desire of seniors to age in place. As seniors age, they usually need increased access to supportive services in order for them to remain in their home. At EHDOC’s four communities in Florida, 78% of the residents are in need of services, while in Pennsylvania, over half of the residents need services to maintain independent living, added Protulis.
It is increasingly difficult to know where to look for services and this bill would be the first step in the right direction in assisting older people, their families and care givers in finding and securing services, commented Protulis. The Seniors Commission report stated housing and services needs of seniors traditionally have been addressed in different worlds that often fail to recognize or communicate with each other, particularly critical with HUD and HHS.
It is mutually beneficial to promote collaboration between housing, services and health care that enables an older person to achieve their choice to age in place, while at the same time saving public funds, but I also believe that the focus of this effort should not only be on saving money, but rather on saving lives, Protulis stated.
The proposed legislation, S. 705, would create an executive level Interagency Council comprised of key federal agencies involved with housing and service needs of seniors including, HUD, HHS, DOT, Agriculture, Treasury, Labor, VA, Social Security, the Administration on Aging and the Center or Medicare and Medicaid. I whole-heartedly support the establishment of the Interagency Council on Meeting the Housing and Service Needs of Seniors, and Protulis continued to urged quick enactment of the bill during this 109th Congress, stating that, action needs to be taken now.
For More Information Contact:
Larry McNickle 703-532-8847
Steve Protulis will receive the 2005 National Institute of Senior Housing (NISH) Sid Spector Award from the National Council on Aging. Click here to read more.
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