Cuyahoga County, Center for Community Solutions Reveal Findings of Inflation Impact Study

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Study shows rising cost of living has a greater effect on older adults

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - Cuyahoga County seniors are becoming increasingly impacted by inflation, according to a recent study commissioned by the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS) and conducted by the Center for Community Solutions. The Inflation Impact Study shows seniors struggle to keep up with the rising costs of housing, insurance, food, and other essentials.

The 2023 Inflation Impact Study shows inflation is causing both tangible and emotional distress for older adults. According to the study, 80 percent of seniors are forced to adjust spending habits in response to escalating expenses. These changes include altering dietary habits, reducing heating usage, minimizing outings to conserve gasoline, taking up part-time employment and foregoing favorite activities.

"We understand the challenges that all residents of Cuyahoga County face, especially older adults," said Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne. "Whether it's the cost of housing, meals, or transportation, Cuyahoga County is committed to investing in programs and services to ease the financial burden and ensure the well-being of our residents. Our aging population is important to us, and we want them to live and thrive here without worrying about their basic needs."

Data for the Inflation Impact Study was collected by conducting focus groups and surveying more than 150 local seniors. The results underscore the need for supportive action and indicate that our older and disabled citizens are concerned about making ends meet and living well. The study further energizes the Livable Cuyahoga initiative, aimed at making Cuyahoga County an Age-Friendly Community.

“I am hopeful that the information and feedback provided by the seniors through this study will emphasize programs like the Livable Cuyahoga initiative and lead to better outcomes for older adults facing economic challenges due to inflation,” said Natasha Pietrocola, Director of the Division of Senior and Adult Services. “We are now called to action to address the needs of the largest growing demographic in our County."

“The Inflation Impact Study demonstrates the importance of government, as well as organizations such as senior centers and faith-based institutions, to the health and human services safety net,” said Emily Campbell, President and CEO of The Center for Community Solutions. “We must ensure that the safety net is not only maintained but strengthened.”

“There has been a great deal of local progress over the years in supporting older adults, but this study is a reminder that the work continues,” said William Tarter, Jr., a Community Solutions Policy Fellow who helped lead the study. “Older adults must remain a public policy priority in the years to come.”

The full report of the Inflation Impact Study is available:

Older adults or adults with disabilities who need assistance can call the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services Connection Center for help at 216-420-6700.