The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mobility Needs of an Aging Population in Contra Costa County
Research Team: David R. Ragland (lead), Glenn Shor, and Grace Felschundneff
UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley
Problem Statement: In 2018, a multidisciplinary research team from the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC Berkeley reviewed programs and policies to support the transportation mobility issues of older adults in California—one of the most pressing problems facing the state. The number of state residents age 65 and older is expected to double between 2012 and 2050, while the number those age 85 and above is expected to increase by over 70percent between 2010 and 2030. Results of the original survey, conducted in Contra Costa County, California, 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.”
Project Description: A follow-up survey was planned for 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic changed life for all residents. The survey was redesigned to assess mobility needs and changes during the Shelter-in-Place order in the state and county, and focused on the impact of COVID-19 on a wide range of aspects of respondents’ lives, including respondents’ work status, social isolation, communication, economic situation, views of government regulatory efforts, and health concerns during the pandemic.