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Older Adults Support Legislation Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic

Coronavirus Study: Advocacy Issues

The spread of the coronavirus across our nation has put the health and financial security of millions of Americans at risk.  Congress has passed three pieces of bipartisan relief legislation developed to put money in people’s pockets and jumpstart the economy. 

While Congress considers additional relief legislation, AARP conducted a survey of 2,796 adults aged 50 and over about a number of legislative issues that could help Americans cope with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Older Americans are demanding legislative initiatives that would address the crisis in nursing homes, lack of equipment for healthcare workers, need for food assistance, relief for caregivers, and persistent unemployment, especially among older Americans.

Key Findings

Strong majorities of older adults support

  • Requiring nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities to enable video visitation (96%).
  • Requiring nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities to disclose any active coronavirus infections (96%).
  • Ensuring that health care workers get the personal protective equipment they need (99%).
  • Temporarily increased federal funding for food assistance to low income families (90%).
  • Providing a federal income tax credit to family caregivers who incur expenses for the care and support of a family member (92%).
  • Extending unemployment insurance benefits for people who have lost their jobs until the crisis is over (96%).


The AARP survey was conducted by phone and online using a nationally representative survey among U.S. adults ages 50 and older. The 2,796 panel members were randomly drawn from Amerispeak. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish, according to respondent preference, and the data were weighted by age, gender, race/ethnicity, census division, and education to reflect national population estimates for adults ages 50 and older. Some percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.

For more information, please contact Teresa A. Keenan at For media inquiries, please contact


Suggested citation:

Keenan, Teresa A., G. Chuck Rainville, and Jeffrey Love. Coronavirus Study: Advocacy Issues. Washington, DC: AARP Research, April 2020.

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