UMass Gerontology Institute Measures COVID-19 Impact on State’s Older Adults

Aug 12, 2020

A recent report by researchers from the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at UMass Boston’s Gerontology Institute examines these consequences for the older population in Massachusetts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront common obstacles experienced by older people, and also exacerbated challenges related to income, housing, nutrition, medical care, and emotional wellbeing. The work of community organizations meant to meet the needs of older adults is more critical than ever during this public health crisis.

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative also believes this points to the importance of creating and advancing age-and dementia friendly communities as well.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • More than one-third of Massachusetts residents age 60 or older, or an estimated 584,000 people, experienced loss of household employment income since March 13, 2020.
  • When asked about their confidence in making the next month’s rent payment on time, nearly 12% of older adults surveyed reported little or no confidence.
  • Food security remains a concern for many older Massachusetts residents, and almost 1 in 5 older adults have little or no confidence that they will have enough food to eat in the next week — amounting to an estimated 308,000 older residents who are concerned about their food security.