We are navigating tailwinds, headwinds, and crosswinds simultaneously. On the one hand, there has never been a more challenging time to be in aging services. On the other, opportunities abound in a society that is rapidly aging.

As we approach the New Year, we are warming our voices and fine tuning our pitch to make our case to the new Congress and Administration. We are seeking common ground with others, knowing there is strength in numbers. Our most effective messages focus on those we serve—individuals and families—and those who serve and support them—caregivers, social workers, nurses, and others. 

People. Stories. Individual struggles. It is the authenticity of these voices that will draw the attention of policymakers and perhaps engender empathy that leads to action.

Our most effective efforts will be built on evidence-based solutions. What works and why? Data that supports it, and, if data is unavailable, relying on the depth and breadth of our aging services experience.

You can count on us to raise our voice to prevent the block granting of Medicaid because to do so would limit the ability of individuals to access the services they need. Block grants, sometimes initially, but always over time, result in reduced funding and a changed benefit structure.

You can count on us to raise our voice to fund affordable housing to provide needed shelter to increasing numbers of older adults.

You can count on us to raise our voice to make the best case possible for regulatory relief for nursing homes, so that more time can be spent providing loving care than on paperwork.

You can count on us to raise our voice for a rational, sustainable way to pay for long-term services and supports, so individuals and families don’t have to deplete their own savings to care for a loved one.

You can count on us to broadcast the benefits and value of a career in aging services, bringing work opportunities to many and expanding the much needed workforce.

You can count on us to speak out about the many ways technology can enhance quality of life and care in meaningful ways. 

And you can count on us to amplify our voice to ensure that Medicare is preserved as the promise that it is for older adults.

As we raise our voice, we hope you will raise your voice as well. Together, we need to echo one another. We need to speak not just in stereo, but in surround sound. 

We know that to be the trusted voice is a big responsibility and trust is earned through the credibility of our ideas and our actions—our collective action.

I look forward to working together to raise our voices on behalf of the many we serve, support and employ—today and in years to come.

Happy holidays from our LeadingAge family to yours.