Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Lack of economic gender equality continues to affect women in retirement

July 20, 2020 – Seniors

Many studies on economic gender equality focus on the working-age population, but fewer consider the economic status of women in retirement. Brookings experts explore the resources available to women in retirement, given that on average women both live longer and earn less in their lifetime than men. On top of receiving unequal pay for similar work, women are also more likely to see reduced earnings due to time out of the formal labor force while caring for children and/or for aging parents. Lower earnings over a lifetime have implications for retirement savings, but also for calculating Social Security benefits (on average, women receive just 80 percent of the Social Security benefits that men do). Citing that the current retirement system was “not designed to accommodate women’s experiences,” authors suggest policies and practices to address these inequalities including: an improved federal paid family and medical leave program, subsidizing childcare, creating a Social Security caregiver credit as part of benefit calculations, divorce law reform, a nationwide and automatic IRA program so that all workers can access a retirement program through their employer, and bolstering Supplemental Security Income benefits. #workforce #childcare

Research on seniors’ finances before and after Great Recession yields grim predictions for current recession

July 20, 2020 – Seniors

New research from the National Council on Aging assessed the potential effects of the COVID-19 recession on seniors by utilizing data on the economic situation of U.S. adults ages 60+ both before and after the Great Recession. The research found that low-income older adults experienced more financial losses than higher-income counterparts, as did older adults of color compared with non-Hispanic white older adults. Poverty rates for adults over 60 increased from 5% before the recession to 7.3% after the recession. Post-recession poverty levels were even higher for Black older adults (16.4%) and Hispanic older adults (20.1%). Researchers estimate that a COVID-19 recession, if results are similar to that of 2008-09, could push 1.8 million seniors into poverty—and seniors of color are the most vulnerable to financial losses. #covid-19

More than one-quarter of older adults experienced at least one fall in the past year

July 10, 2020 – Seniors

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report describes the prevalence of falls and fall-related injuries among older adults in the United States. Authors analyzed data from the annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), finding that in 2018, 27.5 percent adults aged 65 years or older reported having fallen at least once in the past year. Also concerning, 10.2 percent reported that they had experienced a fall-related injury in the past year. Falls are known as the leading cause of injury among seniors but are also very preventable. Authors recommend that health care providers emphasize reducing the risk of falls through interventions such as physical therapy and medication management.

Social isolation has its own negative health impacts for older adults

July 6, 2020 – Seniors

Staying home and practicing social distancing are important ways for older adults to reduce their risk of COVID-19 exposure. However, following these guidelines means many older adults are now more isolated and inactive, creating new health risks. Experiencing loneliness and feeling isolated were challenges for nearly a quarter of older adults even before the pandemic and are associated with higher rates of chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders. Texas A&M researchers outline strategies that older adults can employ to stay connected and active, including continuing physical activity, reaching out to others via phone, accepting help from individuals and organizations, and planning out their days to provide structure. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Rural Pennsylvania hospital pivots to respond to the pandemic

July 1, 2020 – Families, Seniors

Butler Memorial Hospital in Butler, Pennsylvania is home to the Regional Alliance Chronic Disease Coordination and Management (RACDCM) Program. The program supports patients age 45 and older who have at least two chronic diseases by providing chronic disease management resources. At the beginning of the pandemic, the RACDCM Program switched to a telehealth model. This transition was eased by previous telehealth experience. In order to reach patients in rural areas without internet access, they are adding dial-in options so patients may join sessions by phone. The RACDCM Program team has focused on supporting patients at home to avoid hospital visits for chronic condition care; the hospital reports overall lower hospital visits, including from those with chronic conditions. #covid-19 #rural

Community resilience tool finds rural communities are more vulnerable than urban counterparts to disasters

June 29, 2020 – Families, Seniors

The U.S. Census Bureau developed a new experimental tool called the Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) that measures the ability of a community to respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies—including COVID-19. Estimates are available at state and county levels. A state or county is considered high risk if at least 30 percent of the population has three or more risk factors (such as low household income, presence of chronic conditions, aged 65 and older, lack of health insurance). They found that 30 percent of all rural counties are at high-risk compared to only 14 percent of all urban counties. #covid-19 #rural

Without policy intervention, Social Security benefits will fall due to current recession

June 23, 2020 – Seniors

Researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) argue that policymakers should include a fix in the next COVID-19 relief bill to address decreases in Social Security benefits caused by the current recession. The recent unemployment increase and decrease in annual earnings for many workers will result in a decrease in the economy-wide average wage. Due to the way Social Security benefits are calculated, someone turning 60 in 2020 will receive less in benefits than that same earner would have if they were turning 60 in 2019. This unfair outcome can be avoided by adding a protective Social Security provision. #covid-19

NACo report summarizes guidance, policies, and best practices in long-term care facilities

June 20, 2020 – Seniors

The National Association of Counties (NACo) published a brief intended to be a comprehensive resource for counties who own and/or operate long-term care facilities. The brief summarizes federal guidance and policies, new federal legislation, data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, and gives local examples of best practices. For example, Linn County, Oregon is highlighted for its successful efforts to expand testing. #covid-19

Identifying factors linked with successful nursing home responses to COVID-19

June 10, 2020 – Seniors

Public administration researchers at American University examined nursing home facilities across the country to identify elements that determine adequate coronavirus response and protections for residents. The scholars identified three factors associated with successful outbreak management, including the investments and patient-care emphases in nonprofit or public homes versus forprofit facilities; more federal and state regulation; and better facility management and administration. #covid-19

States need to hold nursing homes accountable rather than shield them from lawsuits

June 9, 2020 – Seniors

States are increasingly taking action to protect nursing homes and health care providers against lawsuits. But law professors at the University of Arizona and Indiana University assert that nursing homes need more scrutiny, not less, given historically high numbers of health violations. A 2019 report from the Government Accountability Office found that 82% of nursing homes were cited for infection control problems. Even knowing this, many facilities did not implement basic guidelines in response to the pandemic. As of June 5, at least 21 states had recently acted by emergency orders or legislation to shield health care providers from lawsuits related to negligence during the pandemic. Nine of these states—including Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York— explicitly protect nursing homes from lawsuits. However, neither New Hampshire nor Maine have taken actions to prohibit nursing home lawsuits. #covid-19

State proposes ongoing COVID tests at nursing homes

June 1, 2020 – Seniors

State health officials are trying to chart a path forward for ongoing testing in long-term care facilities, which account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire.

Long-term care residents DJ for new online radio station

June 1, 2020 – Seniors

The Washington Post reports on Radio Recliner, a new online radio station whose DJs are elderly residents of long-term care facilities. Professional producers help seniors record talk portions via phone and insert seniors’ selected songs amid the recorded talk, then merge the DJs’ sets together for continuous online streaming. Seniors share stories and select their favorite music, and relatives can call in with requests and dedicate songs to their isolated older loved ones. The radio station was created by a marketing company in partnership with a retirement home chain, and now includes sets from senior DJs across the country. #covid-19 #mentalhealth