The coronavirus public health crisis has created an urgent need for federal health officials and lawmakers to completely rebuild the long-term care system in American, according to the AARP. 

“Transforming America’s fractured and outdated system of long-term care could enhance the lives of millions. We’ve known that for years. Yet society has failed to act,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer, argued in a blog post late last week.

She explained that because the long-term care system has been put in a national spotlight due the public health crisis and its devastating impact on the industry, that now is the moment for officials to take action. 

LeaMond also cited the inequities in the system dramatized by the crisis and America’s increasing senior population as additional reasons for “immediate action.”  

“Real change means focusing on ways to ensure that quality care is accessible to all while honoring the fact that most Americans, when given a choice, deeply desire to remain in their homes and communities,” she wrote. 

LeaMond explained that the “answer cannot simply be to build more nursing homes” but rather reaminging long-term care to address safety concerns, include more supports and services that promote home-based care, creating facility environments where seniors can thrive. 

“There has never been a better time to debate solutions and take action. We cannot wait,” she said.