|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 www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 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.
Infographic: Rate of Living Alone by Rurality and Age
April 1, 2020 – SeniorsA new infographic from the University of Minnesota’s Rural Health Research Center found that the likelihood of living alone increases with age in both urban and rural areas. An estimated 28.2% of people ages 65 and older in nonmetropolitan (rural) counties live alone, compared to only 6.6% of people ages 18-34 in these same areas. This highlights the importance of place-based approaches to supporting seniors who live alone. #covid-19
Immune system aging explains why older adults are at higher risk from COVID-19
March 19, 2020 – SeniorsAlthough people of all ages are at risk, data from public health officials around the world have shown that older adults have been impacted more severely by #COVID-19 than their younger counterparts. Furthermore, the risks are not the same for all adults over 60. As people reach 70 and 80 years old, they have increasing risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, likely due to the ways in which the immune system ages.
For millions of low-income seniors, coronavirus is a food-security issue
March 16, 2020 – SeniorsFrom the Brookings Institute: Facilitating meal deliveries (like Meals on Wheels) to low-income seniors aging in place provides crucial support in a time when grocery shopping can be risky and senior centers and food pantries may be closed or limited in operations. In Humboldt County, California an organization called SoHum Health is reaching out directly to seniors to check in about health needs and connect them with a local senior center coordinating grocery delivery. #covid-19 #foodsecurity
Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit Can Support Older Working AmericansMore older adults are working now than at any point during the previous 25 years. From 1994 to 2018, the share of adults ages 65 to 69 participating in the labor force increased from about 22 percent to about 33 percent. But workforce participation is considerably lower for older adults who did not earn a college degree or high school diploma and who generally earn lower wages. These adults are particularly vulnerable to unstable retirement and may benefit from working, earning, and saving longer into their sixties. This article from the Urban Institute argues that extending the earned income tax credit (EITC) to workers over the age of 64 without custodial children and increasing benefits for these workers could raise employment among older Americans. Staying in the workforce longer can help seniors make ends meet and improve their retirement security.
Policy Brief: SUPPORTIVE SERVICES AND CAREGIVING FOR OLDER RURAL ADULTS
September 4, 2019 – SeniorsA new policy brief by the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services offers recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on supportive services and caregiving for older rural adults. The key recommendations include (1) “creating a comprehensive resource on the aging and long-term services and supports available to older adults in rural areas”; (2) expanding telehealth offerings, related resources, and Medicare coverage of these offerings in rural areas; (3) promoting age-supportive efforts in rural health grant programs, and (4) expanding specialized Medicare Advantage plans into rural areas. The report recognizes challenges that are especially significant in rural places, including social isolation, transportation, and resources for unpaid caregivers.
On average, older adults spend over half their waking hours alone
July 19, 2019 – SeniorsNew research from the Pew Research Center finds that older adults spend more than half of their waking hours—seven hours total—alone (excluding time spent in personal activities, like grooming). This compares with fewer than 5 hours alone for those in their 40s and 50s, and three-and-a-half hours for those under 40. For older adults living alone, this rises to more than 10 waking hours a day. The author notes that while alone time isn’t inherently harmful, it can be indicative of risks for social isolation among older adults.
Work-Related Opportunity Costs Of Providing Unpaid Family Care In 2013 And 2050
July 19, 2019 – SeniorsA new article in Health Affairs estimates the effects of informal caregiving for community-dwelling older Americans on their caregivers’ employment, hours worked, and resulting foregone earnings. The article finds that the economic cost of this informal care was about $67 billion in 2013, but is likely to double by 2050, due to the growth of older, disabled adult populations and the growth in better-educated caregivers (who, in turn, are foregoing higher earnings than their less-educated predecessors). The author concludes with a call for policy action that continues to estimate these indirect costs while developing programming to support unpaid caregivers.
Maine Data Glimpse: Share of Householders Age 60+ Living Alone
February 26, 2019 – SeniorsThis graphic shows the share of Maine residents age 60 and older who live alone.
- More than two of every five Maine seniors lives alone (41.3 percent).
- Rates in Waldo County are lower than the statewide share, at 35.9 percent.
- The share of seniors living alone is higher than the statewide estimate in Androscoggin and Knox Counties (44.9 percent and 45.7 percent, respectively).
Redesigning the Financial Roadmap for the LMI 50+ Segment
February 26, 2019 – SeniorsFor decades, the financial lives of Americans over the age of 50 were understood to follow a predictable lifecycle pattern. After working full-time into their early 60s, these individuals stopped working completely and began depending financially on a defined benefit pension plan. With a paid-off mortgage, comprehensive healthcare coverage, and reduced living expenses, they were free to live frugally, but securely, in their retirement.
An Invisible Tsunami: ‘Aging Alone’ and Its Effect on Older Americans, Families, and Taxpayers
February 25, 2019 – SeniorsSocial capital may be most valuable when an individual’s needs are greatest. Old age is a time of life when people often need to rely on family, friends, and other social relationships for care they are no longer able to provide for themselves. If an elderly adult lacks those relationships, however, they may have to lean more heavily on paid professional care, potentially leading to a lower quality of life and higher costs for families and government.
Who Was Poor in the United States in 2017?past few years, The Hamilton Project has released an annual report characterizing poverty in America. Describing who is poor is critical for making anti-poverty policy and directly relevant to determining eligibility for means-tested programs. In 2017, 12.3 percent of the population—39.7 million people—lived in poverty, as defined by the official poverty measure . The share of the population living in poverty was statistically significantly lower in 2017 than in 2016 by 0.4 percentage points.
How Secure Is Employment at Older Ages?
January 11, 2019 – SeniorsThis report assesses the precariousness of older adults’ employment. Using a nationally representative longitudinal survey, we follow workers from their early 50s to age 65 and beyond and measure the incidence of involuntary job separations. Our analysis focuses on employer-related separations as opposed to quits driven by poor health, family caregiving responsibilities, or other personal reasons. We tabulate separations caused by layoffs and business closings as well as quits motivated by job dissatisfaction and unexpected retirements. We consider only those separations that have serious financial consequences, leading to long spells of nonwork or substantially reduced earnings. Our results show that slightly more than one-half of adults in their early 50s who are working full time, full year with a long-term employer subsequently experienced an employer-related involuntary job separation. Only 1 in 10 of these involuntarily separated workers ever earned as much after their separation as before. Median household income fell 42 percent following an employerrelated involuntary job separation, and median household income at age 65 for workers who experienced an involuntary separation was 14 percent lower than for those who did not.