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“How Have Senior Citizens Been Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19?”

Author: Maria Alejandra Baeza-Guillen

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE

Abstract: The rate of disproportions low-income senior citizens of color face in Chicago have increased during COVID-19. According to the author Hee-Won Jung, of Annals of Geriatric Medicine and research, many countries adopted an age-based triage during the current pandemic, in which younger patients were given priority over older adults to receive healthcare (2020). Researchers have proved that low-income seniors face barriers with medical bills or healthcare concerns regarding the worsened healthcare system. This research aims to analyze the importance of prominent plans that can help cause a positive shift in medical healthcare for senior citizens of color who may be sixty-five and up. Through a literature review of scholarly articles, this research will analyze how within the past two years, the risk of intensive care or hospitalization increases for people in their 50s and increases in the 60s, 70s, and 80s (CDC, 2021). Findings have revealed COVID-19 cases amongst different age groups there is a larger increase in cases amongst people who are fifty and older. Covid-19 Hospitalizations have increased during the pandemic, and Medicaid reported higher anxiety and depression rates. Low-income seniors face food insecurities, and due to the healthcare inequalities, they face economic burdens that affect their health. In addition, this research will suggest more efficient ways to ensure having enough supplies and protective gear and address the COVID-19 health disparities. Recommendations include an accurate spread of information, Biden Harris American Rescue Plan provides overall exceptional primary care for older adults, and relief funds for struggling communities. Furthermore, these practices would include providing support for low-income seniors in the community and investing in services that benefit our senior citizens as we recognize the needs and preferences of senior citizens.

Keywords: Health Care, COVID-19, low-income