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Open Access Publications from the University of California

COVID-19 has Significantly Impacted the Mobility and Activities of the Senior Population in Contra Costa County

  • Author(s): Ragland, David R.;
  • Schorr, Glenn;
  • Felschundneff, Grace
  • et al.

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Meeting the mobility needs of an aging population is one of the most substantial challenges facing California in the coming decades. The number of residents age 60 and above will grow to 13.9 million by 2050, representing over 25% of the state population. Meanwhile, the number of residents age 85 and above is expected to increase by over 70% between 2010 and 2030. In 2018, the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC Berkeley conducted a survey on transportation mobility issues among older adults in Contra Costa County in California. Results indicated, among other findings, that a majority of seniors are car dependent, that some older adults miss important activities due to mobility limitations, and that most older adults want to “age in place.” A follow-up survey of 302 Contra Costa County seniors ages 60 and above was conducted in June 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic changed life for all residents. The follow-up survey assessed the mobility needs and changes during the Shelter-in-Place order as well as how COVID-19 was impacting other areas of their lives, such as their economic situation, views of government regulatory efforts, feelings of social isolation, and work/employment status. This brief presents findings from the follow-up survey.

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