A new report offers insights from communities’ response during the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrates their nimbleness in creating more inclusive and equitable systems to support older people. How Innovative Community Responses to COVID-19 Support Healthy Aging 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 was funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation.
The research focused on six communities particularly affected by the pandemic. Four cities—Brockton, Chelsea, Lawrence, and Lynn, Massachusetts—are diverse and experienced some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the state; and Cape Cod and the Hilltowns regions of Massachusetts are rural and geographically isolated communities with significant older populations.
A key finding in the report is that several protective factors enabled many older people to access services and meaningfully contribute time and talent to assist others. The authors note the value of collaboration and that “tight-knit networks…dedicated to the well-being of the community” were critical.
For the full report, click here.