It became evident early in the coronavirus pandemic that older age is a risk factor for becoming severely ill with COVID-19. But the virus’s impact on older adults goes beyond a higher risk for serious infection: it also includes limited access to care for all health conditions, as well as considerable social and economic hardships.
Drawing on findings from a survey of more than 18,000 adults age 65 and older in 11 high-income countries, we show how COVID-19 has affected the economic security of older adults as well as their access to health care and supportive services for chronic conditions. We also highlight the state of vaccination for older adults during the first quarter of 2021.
Conducted with the research firm SSRS and the Commonwealth Fund’s international partners, the survey took place between March and June 2021. It was the latest in the Commonwealth Fund’s series of International Health Policy Surveys, conducted annually to enable cross-national comparisons between the United States and other high-income countries.