Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

About The Older Adult Population

The older adult population is not characterized by age alone. Different laws define this population in different ways, especially when people become eligible for services. Older adults are generally eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65, but they also become eligible for services such as meals, home health services, personal care, and transportation at age 60 under the Older Americans Act (OAA).

Community-dwelling older adults may pose more complex challenges for planning officials than those in long-term care settings because these facilities may already be governed by specific regulations. To remain in their homes, many community-dwelling adults rely on care from family members or caregivers or from services provided by area agencies on aging, community organizations, or home health agencies. Interruption of these services during an emergency can compromise the self-reliance and independence of community-dwelling older adults.

Older adults are diverse in their physical and mental health. During emergencies, they may be at increased risk of disease and death because of factors such as—

  • A higher prevalence of chronic conditions, physical disability, cognitive impairment, and other functional limitations compared to younger age groups.
  • Dependence on support systems for medical care, medication, food, and other essential needs.
  • Potential limitations in their mobility, access to transportation, or other aspects of functional autonomy.

For more complete information, visit the Older Adult Health & Medical Concerns section of the Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults Web Portal on the CDC Healthy Aging Program Web site at




ABC Widget Emergency Preparedness Resources for At-Risk Older Adults. www.PHE.govShare this Widget - Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.


Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Healthy Aging Program
    4770 Buford Highway, N.E., Mailstop F-78
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    Closed Holidays
  • Contact CDC-INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO