ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -- A new study from AARP New York finds the COVID-19 pandemic is especially impacting older New Yorkers of color in several areas like food insecurity, rent and nursing homes.
"The pandemic and its impact on older New Yorkers of color has been appalling in every facet of life. Fifty-plus communities and individuals of color have borne a huge brunt of COVID," said Beth Finkel, AARP New York State Director
A "Disrupt Disparities 3.0" report released Tuesday finds that nursing homes are a key part of that.
"Nursing homes with at least a quarter of Black or Hispanic residents have been twice as likely to be hit by COVID-19 than those with less than five percent Black and Latino residents," said Reggie Nance, AARP New York Associate State Director.
New York State has reported about 6,500 COVID-19 nursing home deaths, but the number of nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 after being moved to hospitals is unknown as those were counted as hospital deaths. AARP is proposing an independent review of the state's handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes and the creation of a state long-term care task force.
"We need to look at the conditions that led to the unfortunate loss of 6,500 long-term care residents in our state and come up with ways to mitigate that and prevent it from happening in the future," said Kristin McManus, AARP New York Associate State Director.
Additionally, the report found disparities when it came to food insecurity and rent.
"What we've learned is that about 25 percent of Black and Latino families, who responded to a US Census Bureau survey, reported not being able to pay their rent in May of 2020," said Maggie Castro, AARP New York Associate State Director
The study also found that as of late May/ early June 50 percent of Black tenant households fell behind on rent payments.