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HomeHealthy Aging25 Groups Join to Advance a Better Measure for the Cost of...

25 Groups Join to Advance a Better Measure for the Cost of Aging

The National Council on Aging (NCOA), in collaboration with the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is launching the Equity In Aging Collaborative—a coalition of 25 national and local organizations that will advocate for a better way to measure the true cost of living as Americans age.

“Inflation is decimating the little financial security older adults might have coming out of the pandemic,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO. “But even before that, the federal poverty level failed to reflect older adults’ real needs to age with dignity. The Equity in Aging Collaborative will work to ensure that the programs millions of people rely on actually keep pace with the costs of aging in America.”

The Collaborative will build on 15 years of experience with the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index, or Elder Index. Developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Elder Index is a measure of the income older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity, factoring in household size, geography, housing, health care, transportation, food, and other daily essentials.

The Collaborative will advocate for the adoption of the Elder Index and for improving the standard-of-living measures used to determine eligibility for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, taxes, food assistance, and housing support.

“All too often, discussions of economic security lay blame on individuals and their inability to ‘save for retirement’. Most of us, however, work hard throughout our lives,” said Mary O’Donnell, President of RRF Foundation for Aging. “Despite this, financial struggles in later life are distressingly common. These result from larger economic forces beyond our control, systemic inequities, and an insufficient safety net. RRF Foundation for Aging is pleased to support this initiative, which will highlight the need to rethink economic security in later life.”

The Equity in Aging Collaborative is made possible by a grant from the RRF Foundation for Aging. For more information, please visit

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at and @NCOAging.

SOURCE National Council on Aging

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