COVID-19: A Public Health Emergency for Older Adults and Their Caregivers

Older Woman in Pajamas with Caregiver

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health emergency that has severely impacted older adults and unpaid caregivers in the United States. A newly released study by CDC and its partners offers important insights about the pandemic’s effect on these populations. Specifically, the study describes the major needs and concerns of older adults and caregivers and the range of public health strategies and resources available to support their physical and mental well-being. View the Executive Summary[2.7 MB] and the full report[3.3 MB] (with appendices[692 KB] and tables[2 MB]).

Needs and Concerns of Older Adults and Their Caregivers

The study’s focus is on racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, rural populations, tribal populations, LGBT individuals, populations with limited English proficiency, and disadvantaged groups.

Areas of focus include:

  • Needs and concerns of older adults and caregivers during COVID-19
  • Assistance needed by older adults and caregivers during COVID-19
  • Older adults’ and caregivers’ information-seeking behaviors and resource preferences
  • Public health interventions and strategies focus on social isolation, deferral of medical care, management of chronic conditions, elder abuse and neglect, and decondition (loss of muscle tone and endurance due to chronic disease, immobility, or loss of function).

Resources for Caregivers