People all over the world, including Americans, are practicing social distancing during this coronavirus pandemic. We’re sheltering at home, leaving only when necessary to replenish essential supplies or to get in a little exercise.
Yes, it feels strange, this interruption to our lives and regular routines, but everyone who can stay home should; it saves lives and helps halt the spread of the virus.
We’re not, however, blind to a byproduct of all this enforced separation: loneliness. A survey of.... Read More
The Case for Racial Equity in Aging Has Never Been Stronger
In early April, as the COVID-19 crisis spread across the world, two notable developments took hold. First, the United States became the pandemic’s epicenter, reporting more confirmed cases and deaths than in any other nation. Second, it became clear that black and Latino people in the United States were being hospitalized and dying from the virus at disproportionate rates.
Given that older adults and people with serious medical conditions are at greatest risk of.... Read More
by Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., Executive Director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. This article originally appeared on the NHCOA blog. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.
COVID-19 is caused by something so small we cannot even see it, a virus known as SARS-CoV-2. This virus is causing illness and death throughout the world; and it seems to be targeting our elders especially hard. According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the United States of America have been adults 65 years and.... Read More
Just as we gay and bisexual men measured our personal histories in relation to AIDS — starting in 1981 — everyone now speaks of the world, and our lives, “before” and “after” COVID-19.
Organizations created in the 1980s to serve very ill, homebound people with HIV/AIDS are demonstrating in this “after” that there is a greater-than-ever need for what they know about feeding and caring for people with.... Read More
OPINION: COVID-19 Shows the U.S. Needs Universal Family Care
by Sarita Gupta. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
(Across caregiving and community, business and intergenerational attitudes, the pandemic and how we respond to it could change us forever. Next Avenue turned to some of our Influencers in Aging, a diverse group of thought leaders, for their insights, counsel and opinions of what could lie ahead — if we choose.)
Prior to COVID-19, every two weeks, two women would come to clean my family’s house. They’re employees of a small cleaning service. Three weeks ago, when COVID-19 started to change how people live and work, the owner called to ask if we’d be willing to provide additional money so she could give.... Read More
Let’s Pause to Celebrate a Historic Win for Direct Care Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered our way of living while putting enormous pressures on the health and long-term care sectors, including the direct care workforce. Epidemiologists are predicting that it will continue to worsen in the months ahead, straining our health care resources, the economy, and the full aging and long-term care system.
In times of crisis, important policy wins are often understandably overshadowed by more pressing matters. In this context, one major win for direct care workers took place last Wednesday when President Trump signed into law the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act (OAA) for five more years and increases funding levels for its programs.... Read More
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has magnified what we’ve known all along – our institutions are not prepared to support family caregivers.
We write to urge government, community and religious leaders to please remember the challenges facing family caregivers as this public health crisis continues to unfold. Unpaid family caregivers are the backbone of the health care system in the United States, providing as much as 90 percent of all home health care for no pay and.... Read More
8 Warning Signs of Health Problems in Your Aging Parents
As your parents get older, how can you be sure they’re taking care of themselves and staying healthy?
When you visit your aging parents, start by considering these questions:
1. Are your parents able to take care of themselves? Pay attention to your parents’ appearance. Failure to keep up with daily routines—such as bathing and brushing teeth—could indicate dementia, depression or physical impairments. Also pay attention to your parents’ home. Are the lights working? Is the heat on? Is the yard overgrown? Any changes in the way your parents.... Read More
SAGE Launches SAGEConnect to Combat Social Isolation for LGBT Elders
SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has recently launched SAGEConnect, a program that matches LGBT elders with volunteer community members and allies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of our LGBT pioneers, the heightened need for social isolation has left them homebound with severely limited support networks. The one-to-one contact offered through SAGEConnect will help combat feelings of loneliness and disconnection during this unprecedented time of COVID-19, and ensure that elders are linked to resources if they are in need of help.
Because of the limited resources available to LGBT elders during this time, SAGE is utilizing its connection.... Read More
Direct Care Workers Can Address Social Isolation and Loneliness
A remarkable though unsettling new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has drawn attention to the extensive harm that social isolation and loneliness are having on the health and well-being of older adults. The report—Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System—provides a sweeping overview of these two issues, as well as a compelling rationale for why the.... Read More