Q: There is so much going on right now. How important is it for us to fill out the 2020 Census? Does this impact services for older adults like myself?
A: Everyone may not realize participation in the census is actually required by law. Beyond the fact this is something we need to do the data collected is extremely important.
Once the census is completed nationwide and in five U.S. territories the results impact all of us in several ways. Numbers reported regarding how many people reside in each household determines congressional representation. This data influences the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives.
The census indicates where new schools, clinics and roads may be needed. The data also validates how crucial services for families, children and older adults are in specific areas.
Hundreds of billions in federal funding every year are allocated for a vast list of programs such as Head Start, Medicaid, Medicare Part B, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs and housing subsidies for older adults and disabled individuals.
Hospitals and Fire Departments also benefit from data provided.
Ultimately the census results affect each of our towns every day. Years ago it was common for a census taker to knock on our door to gather the information. It is much easier in this day and time to participate in filling out the census.
This can be done on-line at my2020census.gov, by phone 844-330-2020 or filling out the paper form received in the mail. This information is kept confidential and does not include any question regarding citizenship.
Are you struggling caring for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our staff is available for a no-cost consultation in the home, office or community. For more details, please call our Lawrence Office at 800-892-0890 or Danvers Office at 978-750-4540.
Do you have a question? We encourage inquiries and comments from our readers. Please direct your correspondence Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, Inc.:
Lawrence Office: Age Information Department, 280 Merrimack Street, Suite 400, Lawrence, MA 01843 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Danvers Office: Information and Referral, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 200, Danvers, MA 01923 or email@example.com
Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of Merrimack Valley and North Shore.