COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Older Adults Die More Frequently from COVID-19

An analysis of more than 114,000 COVID-19 associated deaths during May – August 2020, found that 78% of the people who died were aged 65 and older, and 53% were male; 51% were White, 24% were Hispanic, and nearly 19% were Black. COVID-19 remains a major public health concern regardless of age or race and ethnicity. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Oct. 16, 2020.


Graphic showing 4 in 10 U.S. adults delay medical care because of COVID-19 concerns
Adults Delay Medical Care Due to COVID-19 Concerns

An estimated 41% of U.S. adults reported avoiding medical care because of concerns about COVID-19, including 12% who avoided urgent or emergency care, and 32% who avoided routine care. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, people who experience a medical emergency should seek medical care without delay. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 11, 2020

Graphic showing 4 in 10 U.S. adults delay medical care because of COVID-19 concerns
Considerations for Owners and Operators of Multifamily Housing

The following guidance is provided to help owners, administrators, and operators of multifamily housing work together with residents, staff, and public health officials to create a safe living environment and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

School Decision Making Tool for Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers

Parents and guardians should consider whether other household members are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions, when making decisions about which activities to resume. This tool is designed to help weigh the risks and benefits of available educational options.

Tribal Communities

American Indian/Alaska Native communities with multi-generational households or those in rural or tribal areas may experience unique challenges with social distancing, access to grocery stores, water, and local and tribal health services. Here are several steps individuals can take to keep your home and family safe.

Develop a Care Plan

Developing a care plan is vital during this crucial time in our country. A care plan is a form that summarizes a person’s health conditions and current treatments.

Disability Groups and Risk

Some people with disabilities might be at a higher risk of infection or severe illness from COVID-19. Find out who may be at risk and how to protect yourself.

Shared Housing for Residents

For people living in apartments, condominiums, student or faculty housing, national and state park staff housing, transitional housing, and domestic violence and abuse shelters.

Shared Housing for Owners

This guidance was created to help owners, administrators, or operators of shared (also called “congregate”) housing facilities – working together with residents, staff, and public health officials – prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Considerations for Memory Care Units in Long-term Care Facilities

At least half of older adults living in long-term care facilities have cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The first step in caring for people living with dementia in any setting is to understand that changes in behavior (e.g., increased agitation, confusion, sudden sadness) or worsening symptoms of dementia should be evaluated because they can be an indication of worsening stress and anxiety as well as COVID-19 or other infections.

Guidance for Caregivers of People Living with Dementia in Community Settings

Given the risks that older adults face from both COVID-19 and dementia, CDC is providing this additional guidance to caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to help them manage their patients’ physical and mental wellbeing as well as their own wellbeing.

COVID-19 Risk of Hospitalization If You Have These Health Conditions

Chronic health conditions such as diabetes increases your risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19. For more information, see COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Related to Underlying Medical Conditions.


Graphic showing risk of hospitalizations for people with chronic health conditions
Key Strategies for Long-term Care Facilities

COVID-19 cases have been reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and multiple U.S. territories; many having wide-spread community transmission. Given the high risk of spread once COVID-19 enters a long-term care facility (LTCF), facilities must act immediately to protect residents, families, and staff from serious illness, complications, and death.

Communication Resources

Videos in American Sign Language

COVID-19 guidance is available in American Sign Language on the CDC YouTube Channel. 20 videos are currently posted.

COVID-19 Hospitalization and Death by Age

As you get older, your risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 increases.

COVID-19 Infographic illustrating hospitalization and death by age
Digital Resources
After choir practice with one symptomatic person 87% of a group developed COVID-19
COVID-19 Spreads Easily (Article)
What you can do if you are at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19pdf icon
What You Can do if You are at Higher Risk (PDF)
8 out of 10 Deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years and older
8 out of 10 Deaths (Image)
AARP's Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall
AARP's Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall (Video)
Managing Anxiety and Stress
COVID 19: Managing Anxiety and Stress (Video)