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Classified in: Health, Covid-19 virus
Subjects: NPT, SVY, SCZ

Community-Based Organizations Struggle to Meet Shifting Needs of Older Adults During COVID-19

ARLINGTON, Va., May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Across the nation, community-based organizations that provide vital services to enable older adults to stay in their own homes are struggling to continue supporting their clients during the COVID-19 pandemic?and they're worried about surviving past the crisis.

In April 2020, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well, surveyed 1,003 community-based organizations to determine the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to serve older adults. As part of the nation's aging network, these organizations help older adults stay healthy, financially secure, and independent by providing services such as meals, senior centers, healthy aging programs, benefits enrollment, caregiver support, transportation, and more.

"Ever since COVID-19 hit, we've been hearing from our local partners about the challenges facing them and the older adults they serve," said Josh Hodges, NCOA Chief Customer Officer. "Community-based organizations have been chronically understaffed and underfunded, and now they're on the frontlines of a global pandemic. They are doing an amazing job of pivoting to get our older friends, family, and neighbors what they need to stay healthy and safe. But they also need our support to continue this critical work."

Survey respondents included representatives from all 50 states, plus DC and Puerto Rico. They included senior centers, area agencies on aging, local government agencies, councils on aging, low-income housing providers, health departments, and other organizations that collectively serve millions of older adults every year. The response rate was 4%, and the margin of error was +/- 3.1%.


Older adults are struggling with critical needs during the pandemic. Respondents reported older adults need help with:

Community-based organizations have less capacity to serve older adults.

Community-based organizations are pivoting quickly to respond.

Technology still presents challenges to reaching older adults online.

To survive the pandemic?and beyond?community-based organizations need support.

NCOA has created a COVID-19 Community Response Fund to raise and distribute funds to community-based organizations that are serving older adults during the pandemic. The Fund will provide grants to qualified local nonprofits, especially those that are targeting underserved populations, including women, people of color, LGBTQ, low-income, and rural individuals.

NCOA's survey findings are available for download online.

About NCOA
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security?and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.

SOURCE National Council on Aging

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