New report showcases community innovations during COVID-19 to support healthy aging

Communities have demonstrated nimbleness in creating more inclusive and equitable systems to support older people during the coronavirus pandemic. How Innovative Community Responses to COVID-19 Support Healthy Aging is a new report highlighting these innovations. It is the result of a collaboration between the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative and Tufts Health Plan Foundation. The research, conducted by FSG, highlights strategies employed by communities and offers recommendations for stronger results moving forward. The report focused on six communities in Massachusetts particularly affected by the pandemic. Four cities—Brockton, Chelsea, Lawrence and Lynn—are diverse and experienced some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the state; and Cape Cod and the Hilltowns regions are rural and geographically isolated communities with significant older populations.

Key Findings

  • Older adults have been particularly affected by COVID-19; some have borne a disproportionate burden.
  • A number of protective factors (i.e. Intergenerational households and families with strong intergenerational ties) were in place to support older adults who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19; these could be further leveraged in future efforts.
  • Communities adapted in many ways to provide access to needed information and services.

Read the full report here