by Christina N. Harrington. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently said that he and other older Americans would be willing to risk death due to the coronavirus in order to protect the U.S. economy. What followed was a backlash by people warning that even the thought of sacrificing the elderly is unacceptable. Of even greater concern, though, is what this agenda would mean for poor, older black Americans — people like my 89-year-old grandmother — who already are an afterthought in this country and stand to be impacted the most by the pandemic.
America has always had a problem with those at the margins. Individuals with intersectional marginalized identities.... Read More
These are extraordinary times. It has only been since March 17 that Mayor Breed ordered San Francisco residents to shelter in place, to stay indoors, to slow the spread of infection from COVID-19. We are to remain in our homes and only go out to conduct essential activities such as to buy groceries or for a medically related need. It is not such a simple request to isolate ourselves when information about the virus’ progress and the evolving and sometimes confusing response of the federal government creates a collective feeling of dread and anxiety.
As the economy comes to a standstill, more and.... Read More
Managing the COVID-19 Crisis for Vulnerable Populations
Last week, more than 1,600 older adults and professionals in aging attended our tele-town hall event. (Listen to the recording here.) It was a wonderful—and easily accessible—way to share valuable information from national and community partners working with us to and lessen feelings of uncertainty about.... Read More
Life at the Intersection: Older Adults Need a Response to COVID-19 Grounded in Equity
Dorothy is in good spirits, but tired and growing increasingly impatient. In January – well before life for most Americans had been dramatically disrupted by COVID-19 with stay at home orders and the shut down of non-essential businesses – the 72-year-old Chinese American living in Seattle, Washington’s Chinatown began to see signs that her community’s life was slowing down. She’d been reading the daily headlines in the Chinese newspaper about the virus in Wuhan and other parts of China..... Read More
NAPCA Launches Automated In-Language Helpline and Website for Older Adults and Caregivers in Response to COVID19
As COVID-19 began moving through our communities, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) immediately initiated conversations with multiple levels of government to ensure the needs of older adults and their caregivers from the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations were being addressed. While we are still continuing our conversations, we recognized the importance of providing access to in-language information and disseminating them through multiple resources. Addressing language barriers and lack of access to information are priorities for us.
In direct response to these priorities, we are launching our automated in-language Helpline and website..... Read More
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) will be convening weekly calls with all Title VI grantees about the coronavirus (COVID-19). These calls will provide new information and updates to tribal programs, but most importantly are an opportunity for tribes to discuss the impact that COVID-19 is having in your communities.
The Administration for Community Living will be on all calls, as will resource centers from the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative, the University of Alaska, the University of Hawaii and the University of North Dakota.
Please make every effort to join us each week. This is an unbelievable, but very real emergency. Let’s all work together to.... Read More
COVID-19: We Must Care for Older Adults’ Mental Health
by Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This article originally appeared on the AFSP Lifesaver Blog.
No matter your age, mental health and well-being are influenced by numerous factors and are susceptible to change. Right now, most people, across all sectors of society, are being affected by the global health crisis related to the coronavirus. One particular group we should keep in mind during this challenging time is older adults, whose routines and usual support systems may be disrupted.
The most powerful factors that impact mental health and well-being for.... Read More
Tips on Dementia Caregiving in the COVID-19 Outbreak
by Liz Seegert. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is hard enough during normal times. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect communities around the U.S., though, it’s not surprising that family caregivers are anxious, unnerved and confused.
If you’re caring for a family member with dementia during this global health crisis, there are ways to minimize stress, care for your family and care for yourself, too.
Dementia itself does not increase the risk of COVID-19; however, dementia-related behaviors may increase risk. People with dementia may forget to wash their hands or take other precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).... Read More
This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.
Although the implementation of social distancing is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current pandemic from worsening, the stress of isolation can have an affect on anyone. With elders designated as “high risk,” elders and those supporting them worry that precautions could further isolate this vulnerable community, exacerbating loneliness and stress.
Chronic stress is harmful to your health and can be particularly hazardous for elders. Although it’s difficult to determine the extent to which chronic stress affects the health of elders, there is undoubtedly a correlation.
Here are some articles discussing both the need to stay socially distant.... Read More
National Nutrition Month: Highlight on the Elder Index and Food Insecurity
Developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Elder Index tool is used to measure the income older people need to meet their daily living expenses while staying independent in their own homes. The Elder Index tool is specific to household size, location, housing and health status, unlike the Federal Poverty Level, another index used to assess income level.