During the COVID-19 pandemic, the media has focused on numbers in nursing homes—numbers of cases, numbers of deaths—even numbers of staff or of face masks. Yet the news has missed the human experience behind those numbers.
Two years ago, San Diego’s West Health, in partnership with the University of California San Diego Health launched a pilot study to better understand the challenges and opportunities in bringing telehealth to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The aim was to connect residents with health system providers to proactively address their needs and help reduce“panic transfers” to the emergency room (ER).
COVID-19 has highlighted our health system’s shortfalls, but it has also galvanized policymakers into action to achieve meaningful change. Thoughtful policy recommendations must address underlying community-level factors that promote social and health disparities.
By Thomas Eagen, Marie C. Gualtieri, Luming Li, Lisa O’Neill and Ivorie Stanley
The time is ripe to consider housing for older adults and whether, generally, it aids social connection or prevents it. Architect Charles (Chuck) Durrett and gerontologist Alexandria Levitt likely have one solid answer.
As members of communities that are struggling with school reopenings, you are a critical voice for all the older adults you serve. Tell your superintendents and elected officials that older adults must be considered when reopening schools.