Services Successfully Target the Most Vulnerable Elderly
Media Advisory: August 24, 2010
Contact: Amy Berridge, (609) 945-3378
Issue: Since passage of the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965, the Administration on Aging (AoA) has strived to help elderly Americans maintain their independence and remain living in their communities. Through its Aging Services Network, AoA provides services to help address the effects of declining physical health and functioning that frail adults experience. Funded under Title III of the OAA, services such as homemaker support, home-delivered meals, transportation services, and case management are available to those age 60 and older, with delivery targeted to the most vulnerable elderly.
An issue brief from Mathematica Policy Research, the second in a series, presents findings from AoA’s National Survey of OAA Program Participants and compares the health and physical functioning of elderly adults who receive Title III services to that of older adults across the United States who meet the age criteria for these services. The analysis takes into account demographic and socioeconomic status differences of Title III participants relative to older adults nationwide.
Findings: The study found Title III participants who receive in-home services are not as healthy as older adults nationally, nor do they function as well physically. Even after accounting for demographic and socioeconomic differences, these individuals tend to be less healthy and more limited in their functioning than other older adults.
Quote: “Our findings suggest that compared with older adults nationally, those receiving Title III services are older, more likely to be female, non-white, have less than a high school education, and live in poverty—characteristics that tend to be correlated with lower health status,” says Allison Barrett, co-author and researcher at Mathematica, “Even after taking into account these demographic and socioeconomic differences, our study found that Title III participants tend to be in worse health and have lower physical functioning than other older adults. Title III services, then, are reaching some of our nation’s most vulnerable elderly people.”
Issue Brief: "OAA Title III Services Target the Most Vulnerable Elderly in the United States." Helping Vulnerable Seniors Thrive Issue Brief #2, Allison Barrett and Jody Schimmel, August, 2010.
About Mathematica: Mathematica Policy Research, a nonpartisan research firm, provides a full range of research and data collection services, including program evaluation and policy research, survey design and data collection, research assessment and interpretation, and program performance/data management, to improve public well-being. Its clients include federal and state governments, foundations, and private-sector and international organizations. The employee-owned company, with offices in Princeton, N.J., Ann Arbor, Mich., Cambridge, Mass., Chicago, Ill., Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., has conducted some of the most important studies of health care, international, disability, education, family support, employment, nutrition, and early childhood policies and programs.