Friends and neighbors,
On behalf of more than 5,000 mission-driven aging services providers, we are asking our fellow Americans for your help. The coronavirus has killed more than 170,000 older adults--that’s four out every five who have died from COVID. Families across the country are dealing with fear, loneliness, and grief.
And it’s not over yet. The worst pandemic in a century has now reached its darkest hour. What we do now will determine if we protect or endanger the lives of older Americans.
We are writing to remind everyone that a few simple precautions can help ensure that you don’t put your older relatives and others in your community in danger. When you are out of the house and with others, wear a mask and stay six feet apart. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds (or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol).
We fully understand that some people may not like these steps. Wearing a mask may not feel comfortable or attractive, and some people feel that masks infringe on their personal liberties or increase the chance of being racially profiled. Staying socially distant may feel isolating and inconvenient. More frequent handwashing may feel tiresome.
But please ask yourself: as COVID-19 surges, would you want your grandmother or grandfather to be exposed to the virus? How bad would it be if your older loved ones got sick? What if they had other health conditions, like asthma or diabetes, that make them more vulnerable to death from COVID?
Each of us has the power to protect the older adults we love, and those who live in our neighborhoods and communities. Working together, we can save lives.
Thank you for being a part of the solution.
Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO, LeadingAge
Bob Mosca, President and CEO, LeadingAge Alabama
Pam Koester, CEO, Arizona LeadingAge
Shannon Strickler, President/CEO, LeadingAge Iowa
Debra Harmon Zehr, President/CEO, LeadingAge Kansas
Lisa Henderson, Executive Director, LeadingAge ME & NH
Tom Akins, President and CEO, LeadingAge North Carolina
Kathryn Lasley Brod, President and CEO, LeadingAge Ohio
Mary Brinkley, Executive Director, LeadingAge Oklahoma
Jeannee Parker Martin, President & CEO, LeadingAge California
Laura Landwirth, President & CEO, LeadingAge Colorado
Mag Morelli, President, LeadingAge CT
Ilana Xuman, Executive Director, LeadingAge DC
Steve Bahmer, President & CEO, LeadingAge Florida
Ginny Helms, President, LeadingAge Georgia
Karen Contrenchis, President, LeadingAge Gulf States
Karen Messer, President and CEO, LeadingAge Illinois
Eric J. Essley, President and CEO, LeadingAge Indiana
Allison Ciborowski, President and CEO, LeadingAge Maryland
Elissa Sherman, President, LeadingAge Massachusetts
David E. Herbel, President and CEO, LeadingAge Michigan
Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota
William B. Bates, CEO, LeadingAge Missouri
Rich Rasmussen, President/CEO MT Hospital Association
Jenifer Acierno, President & CEO, LeadingAge Nebraska
James W. Clyne, Jr., President and CEO, LeadingAge New York
James W. McCracken, President and CEO, LeadingAge NJ & DE
Ruth Gulyas, CEO, LeadingAge Oregon
Adam Marles, Esq., President & CEO, LeadingAge PA
James Nyberg, Executive Director, LeadingAge Rhode Island
Vickie L. Moody, CEO, LeadingAge South Carolina
Tammy Hatting, VP Post-Acute Care, SD Assoc. Healthcare Org.
Gwyn E. Earl, Executive Director, LeadingAge Tennessee
George Linial, President & CEO, LeadingAge Texas
Deb Murphy, President/CEO, LeadingAge Washington
John Sauer, President/CEO, LeadingAge Wisconsin
Eric Boley, President, LeadingAge Wyoming
You can learn more about protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.