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1.
Innovation in Aging ; 5(Supplement_1):291-291, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1584667

ABSTRACT

In a learning health system, the system’s own data and the experiences of its workforce are integrated with external evidence to provide better care. In an age-friendly health system, core principles of age-friendly care are integrated into every point in the system. Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the innovations that addressed them, present an opportunity to discuss how these two frameworks may be combined and leveraged to transform care for older adults. We will present examples of pandemic-related disruptions, including rapid changes in how patients and providers move within and between facilities and the significant toll on healthcare workers’ mental health. We will also highlight innovative solutions to these disruptions that could transform healthcare systems. Critical to these points is a discussion of how these disruptions have disproportionately impacted healthcare workers and patients of color and how the innovations must be implemented using an anti-racist, health equity lens.

2.
J Gerontol Soc Work ; 65(4): 382-401, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366871

ABSTRACT

Villages are consumer-driven organizations that promote aging-in-place. This study documents the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Villages and explores variation in response by age of the organization, size of the membership, staffing model, and geographic location. In summer, 2020, we distributed an online survey to executive administrators of 286 Villages in the network. During the pandemic, over 75% of Villages were seen as more or equally valuable for members. Seventy-seven percent of Villages offered virtual socialization events. Most Villages reported a decrease in service requests, given reductions in need for transportation. New services of food and medication delivery were initiated. There is much variation between organizations, but findings suggest that Villages that are older, have more members, and bigger budgets had more capacity and cushion; and although they took a negative hit in income and participation, it was a smaller hit proportionately, compared to younger and smaller Villages. Villages have demonstrated adaptability and creativity. They kept their operations running, provided services, and offered social connection. Vulnerabilities have been exposed: memberships have dropped for many and some members have not been able to participate as before the pandemic. Many lessons learned can help future developments of the Village model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Support , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Independent Living , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
J Appl Gerontol ; 40(9): 953-957, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177693

ABSTRACT

This study explored older adults' technology use patterns and attitudes toward virtual volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 22-item survey was administered to 229 volunteers in the St. Louis region who tutor children through the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program. Although most respondents are familiar with technology and expressed that they are likely to volunteer virtually, their responses varied significantly by age, education, gender, income, and school districts. Some tutors expressed that virtual volunteering may eliminate barriers to in-person volunteering, while others were concerned with establishing a personal connection with students online. These findings suggest that tutors anticipate both benefits and challenges with virtual volunteering and that efforts to engage older adults during the pandemic should factor in prior use of technology and ensure that different subgroups are not marginalized.


Subject(s)
Attitude , COVID-19 , Computer Literacy , Education, Distance/methods , Educational Technology/methods , Social Participation/psychology , Teaching , Volunteers/psychology , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Intergenerational Relations , Interpersonal Relations , Male , Missouri , Teaching/psychology , Teaching/statistics & numerical data , Videoconferencing/instrumentation
4.
Innovation in Aging ; 4(Supplement_1):959-960, 2020.
Article in English | Oxford Academic | ID: covidwho-990664

ABSTRACT

This study, launched in June 2020, documents the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Villages nationally. Villages are non-profit, membership-based organizations that provide support from volunteers and social connections to enable aging in place. We distributed on-line surveys to the leaders of the 287 Villages in the national network to capture the effects of the pandemic on organizational operations, membership recruitment, service provision, and member well-being. A 40% response rate (n=116) was obtained. A majority of Villages reported that the pandemic greatly affected the organization, with the top concerns being: 1) membership recruitment, 2) the health and well-being of members and volunteers and 3) connecting with their members outside of normal in-person events. Over half of the respondents reported that the mental health of members had declined;and there were high levels of disruption to usual health care. New member recruitment efforts were thwarted and most Villages lost revenue. About 70% offered virtual programming but, in general, participation in these on-line events dropped. From the survey respondents’ perspective, the value of the Village to members and their family increased (48%) or remained the same (22%). New opportunities emerged that may be continued post-pandemic: new meal and medicine delivery volunteer services, more on-line communication and telephone reassurance, and new family and community connections. Findings indicate a wide range of experiences during the pandemic, with variation stemming from age of the Village and size of membership. The study informs the sustainability and growth efforts of Villages during and after the pandemic.

6.
J Gerontol Soc Work ; 63(6-7): 513-523, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291356

ABSTRACT

Social workers are familiar with the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic; and we apply three gerontological social work perspectives that might increase our chances of minimizing negative outcomes and improving health and quality of life for everyone. First, the reality that the older population is very heterogeneous challenges ageism and age-stereotyping that has surfaced with COVID-19. Second, concepts of cumulative disadvantage and intersectionality offer clear explanations of the disparities that are being illuminated and lead us to advocate for fundamental changes to reduce disparities in later life and for people across the life course. Third, a strength-based perspective highlights the assets of the older population and the opportunities for positive developments coming out of the crisis. We can capitalize on momentum to increase advance care planning, to reduce social isolation, and expand the use of on-line technology for service provision. We can bolster our arguments to support older workers, volunteers, and caregivers. The fact that these social work perspectives are so applicable to the coronavirus situation reminds us of their fundamental relevance. Gerontological social work has much to offer in our roles as researchers, educators, practitioners, and advocates during this crisis, and our foundational principles serve us well.


Subject(s)
Ageism/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Geriatrics/organization & administration , Social Work/organization & administration , Advance Care Planning/organization & administration , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , Socioeconomic Factors , Stereotyping , Telerehabilitation/organization & administration
7.
J Aging Soc Policy ; 32(4-5): 526-535, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116454

ABSTRACT

As we look toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we overview challenges to be minimized, including economic setbacks, health and well-being effects, and highlighted ageism, racism, and classism. We articulate opportunities to be seized, including increased comfort with technology and online platforms; stronger family and intergenerational connections, renewed energy to combat social isolation; more respect for self-care and time management; increased awareness about the importance of advance directives; and, potentially, increased interest across disciplines to work on issues of aging society. Ongoing efforts to improve policies and programs for longer, healthier lives might now be more productive, as we communicate to consumers, public officials, and everyday citizens who may be more aware of what isn't working, what is at stake, and what might be improved.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Advance Directives , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ageism/psychology , Aging/psychology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Computers , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Employment , Family Relations , Health Status , Humans , Internet , Mental Health , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Quality of Life , Racism/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
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