ASA Generations - Generations: The Latest Age-Related News, Articles and Opinions http://generations.asaging.org/ en Housing: Often Overlooked but a Critical Pillar for Older Adults http://generations.asaging.org/housing-older-adults-health-inequities-policy <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Housing: Often Overlooked but a Critical Pillar for Older Adults</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/18/2020 - 01:19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-journal" hreflang="en">Generations Journal</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Why is housing a backburner issue, how does it determine health, what are the inequities and how might we fix it?</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h6>Abstract</h6> <p>Housing is central to older adults’ life outcomes. Housing’s affordability, physical quality, and location can impact physical and mental health. Housing policies and practices have systematically limited access to homeownership for persons of color and segregated many into disadvantaged neighborhoods. For many, this has curtailed economic and wealth building opportunities over the life course and exposed them to negative health consequences of segregated neighborhoods. Encouraging and supporting equitable access to safe and quality housing options for older adults should be a role for all aging services stakeholders.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h6>Key Words</h6> <p>housing policy, social determinants of health, homeownership, equity, discrimination, COVID-19</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p class="dropcaps">Housing policy tends to be overlooked when it comes to older adults. Attention is focused on programs and services that help older adults to stay in their homes—homemaker supports, personal care assistance, or meal deliveries—but housing fails to command the same consideration.</p> <p>Maybe this is because housing policy, in my opinion, has broadly been a backburner issue. Despite the housing affordability “crisis” that has been impacting broad swaths of American households for years, for example, housing is infrequently addressed in presidential or other election campaigns.</p> <p>Part of the challenge is that housing in America is viewed as a private market good, and framed as a way to build wealth. As such, housing policies, regulations, and practices are largely viewed through the lens of homeownership, increasing and protecting home values, and allowing market forces to dictate response. For example, the largest federal housing subsidy remains the mortgage interest deduction, even after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 lowered the cap on the size of the mortgage on which interest can be deducted (Thornton and Estep, 2019). In many cities, a large proportion of land is zoned exclusively for single-family homes (Manville, Monkkonen, and Lens, 2019).</p> <p>Recently, however, the aperture on housing has been expanding. As the social determinants of health gain attention and racial and ethnic inequities are spotlighted, we’re recognizing housing’s role in physical and mental health and life opportunities.</p> <h3>Social Determinants of Health</h3> <p>The social determinants of health are the social, economic, and physical conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. These conditions affect a person’s health risks and outcomes. Housing—including stability and affordability, physical structure, and location—is a key social determinant.</p> <p><strong>Affordability and stability: </strong>Individuals who are unstably housed, which may mean they are falling behind on rent, moving frequently, or staying with friends or relatives, are more likely to experience poor health than those who are stably housed. Research has found that people who are housing insecure are less likely to have a usual source of medical care, more likely to delay doctor’s visits and to use the emergency room for treatment, report poor or fair health, or report poor health that limits their daily activities (Stahre et al., 2015; Braveman et al., 2011).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘Housing in America is viewed as a private market good, and framed as a way to build wealth.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Studies also have found housing instability is related to elevated stress levels, depression, and hopelessness (Center for Housing Policy and Enterprise, 2007). Unsurprisingly, high housing costs can force people to make tradeoffs with other essentials like food, healthcare and medications, and heating or cooling (Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University [JCHS], 2019).</p> <p><strong>Physical structure:</strong> Quality and safety deficits in one’s home can be detrimental to health. Water leaks, poor ventilation, dirty carpets, or bug infestations can produce mold, dust mites, or other allergens associated with poor health. Lack of heating or air-conditioning, leading to extreme high or low indoor temperatures, has been associated with increased mortality. Structural features such as steep stairs, holes in floors, or inaccessible bathrooms and kitchens can result in accidents and injuries (Braveman et al., 2011).</p> <p><strong>Location: </strong>The environment in which one’s home is located can also impact health and well-being. Older adults often spend decades in their communities and thus experience higher levels of exposure to neighborhood conditions. In addition, as older adults retire or become less mobile, they may spend more concentrated time in their neighborhood.</p> <p>Research shows that living in disadvantaged neighborhoods—characterized by high poverty—is associated with weak social ties, problems accessing healthcare and other services, reduced physical activity, health problems, mobility limitations, and high stress. The difference can be explained, in part, by the characteristics of people living in these neighborhoods, but also studies suggest that neighborhood characteristics may independently influence older residents’ health and well-being. Disadvantaged neighborhoods often have more crime, more pollution, poorer infrastructure, and fewer healthcare resources. Walkability; accessibility (including public transportation); safety; availability of public resources, like community centers, parks and libraries, and grocery stores with nutritious food; and healthy air all are related to health behaviors and outcomes (Mather and Scommegna, 2017, Bell et al., 2013, Braveman et al., 2011).</p> <h3>Housing Inequities</h3> <p>Today’s neighborhoods are shaped by mortgage lending practices started almost 100 years ago. In the 1930s, the Home Owners Loan Corporation graded neighborhoods according to lending risk, which was based largely on their minority makeup. Neighborhoods with racial and ethnic minorities were deemed “hazardous” and outlined in red on maps. The newly created Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would not insure loans in or near these neighborhoods, which effectively led to the entire mortgage industry refusing to make home loans to persons of color. As home ownership is a key source for building wealth in this country, this set the stage for the racial wealth gap that persists today.</p> <p>Additionally, the FHA also encouraged the use of race restrictive covenants by lowering the mortgage risk on individual properties with exclusionary deed language. It also often required that developers receiving construction loans place race restrictive covenants in their subdivisions’ property deeds (Rothstein, 2017). This denied African Americans the opportunity to participate in the postwar housing boom and to move to new suburbs, trapping them in inner cities that faced declining investment.</p> <p>Discriminatory lending practices were legal until 1968, when the Fair Housing Act was passed. Despite being outlawed, discriminatory and predatory lending practices and residential segregation continue today (Massey, 2015).</p> <p>It is important to understand the impact of these housing practices on many current and future older adults of color.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘In 2018, 82 percent of white adults ages 65 and older owned a home, compared to 62 percent of black older adults.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Black older adults have had less opportunity to purchase a home. In 2018, 82 percent of white adults ages 65 and older owned a home, compared to 62 percent of black older adults (JCHS, 2019). For those who were able to buy, many have been limited to neighborhoods with lower home value appreciation and-or may have only had access to unfavorable loan products and terms. In 2012, the median home value for black households ages 65 and older was $93,000, compared to $165,000 for older white households (Butrica and Mudrazija, 2016).</p> <p>These circumstances inhibited minority older adults’ opportunity to accumulate wealth over their lifetime. In 2013, the median net worth of African American older adult households ($56,700) was roughly one-fifth of the median net worth of white older adult households ($255,000) (Rosnick and Baker, 2014). While this difference cannot be attributed to home ownership alone, home equity is a primary way for American households to gain wealth</p> <p>Because the housing stock in redlined areas tends to be older, older adults’ homes in these neighborhoods may be in greater need of repair (Perry and Harshbarger, 2019). With lower home values or growth in home values, older adults of color may have less equity that could be tapped into to finance needed repairs or modifications to help maintain the safety and accessibility of their home. This could put them at risk for falls or other injuries. Also it could limit their ability to ambulate in and out of the home, leading to social isolation. Similarly, they have less equity to tap into to pay for services to help them age in place, if needed.</p> <p>Historically redlined neighborhoods have been and generally remain more segregated and more economically disadvantaged today than other neighborhoods (Perry and Harshbarger, 2019). These neighborhoods have faced a legacy of disinvestment, which has impacted economic opportunities, access to resources, and the physical environment.</p> <p>Evidence suggests segregation is a primary cause of racial difference in income by impacting access to education and employment opportunities (Williams and Collins, 2001). Lower incomes in addition to lower opportunity for home ownership has impacted the ability of older adults of color to build wealth to help support them in retirement.</p> <p>Disadvantaged and segregated neighborhoods have less access to options for buying affordable and healthy food and fewer healthcare resources (United States Department of Agriculture, 2009; Gaskin et al., 2012).</p> <p>Disadvantaged neighborhoods also often have higher crime, more environmental pollution, and poor infrastructure (sidewalks, street lighting, and traffic-calming measures). These elements can influence residents’ sense of safety and willingness or ability to engage in physical activity (Center on Social Disparities in Health, 2015).</p> <h3>The COVID-19 Effect, on Housing</h3> <p>Housing is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when considering the effects of COVID-19 on older adults. The economic impact of the pandemic, however, is potentially concerning, particularly for near retirees. Drawing on the 2008 Great Recession for comparison, experts predict the COVID-19 pandemic could diminish current and future retirement savings, as well as threaten public and private retirement systems (Johnson, 2020).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:14px">Older adults may be more inoculated from the economic impact of the pandemic than younger persons, as many are already retired and-or own their home outright. However, some near retirees may have lost their jobs, thus potentially impeding their ability to save for retirement. This could impact their future ability to sustain housing costs or inhibit future choices about housing, such as making repairs or modifications, or moving to an alternative housing type. For some lower-wage near retirees without a savings cushion, it could have a more immediate and lasting impact on their ability to afford housing costs.</p> <h3>Why Does This Matter for Aging Services Stakeholders</h3> <p>Housing is a broad and complex topic, and aging services stakeholders may not understand the connection to their role, or know how to engage. But the discussion above shows that an older adult’s housing situation plays a fundamental role in their ability to maintain health and quality of life. Aging services providers and policymakers should consider it a key platform supporting the implementation or success of their services and initiatives.</p> <p><strong>Affordability: </strong>Housing affordability is a fundamental problem in this country, including for older adults. Nearly 10 million older adult households, both owners and renters, are cost-burdened and pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing (JCHS, 2019). Excessive housing costs can lead to tradeoffs on other necessities like food or medications, living in unsafe conditions, or, at the extreme, homelessness.</p> <p><strong>Options: </strong>Zoning and other land-use regulations often create and protect single-family development, which can limit the range of housing types and impact affordability in neighborhoods. Rental housing or alternatives such as accessory dwelling units or cottage housing may be excluded. This limits opportunities for older adults to leverage their housing for income or care needs or to downsize or move to an alternative housing type to fit their changing needs and interests and remain in their neighborhood, where they have history and a social network.</p> <p><strong>Opportunity: </strong>Older Americans’ life course contributes to their health (Vega and Wallace, 2016). The ability of many older adults of color to purchase a home has been systematically limited, impeding a primary path for building economic opportunity and wealth; and many have been segregated into disadvantaged neighborhoods, limiting economic opportunity and exposing them to environments that increase risks for health problems.</p> <p>While many aging services stakeholders may not be engaged in housing delivery or policy, the success of their services and supports often is intertwined with the stability and quality of their client’s or constituent’s housing. Aging services providers and policymakers should look for opportunities to support or encourage initiatives that will provide older adults (particularly lower income elders and older adults of color) with adequate housing. This could include paying attention to and being an ally around funding for the creation and preservation of affordable housing stock and rental subsidies, mechanisms for financing home repairs and adaptations, reforms to local and state land-use regulations and building inclusionary zoning opportunities, granting approvals for construction of new affordable senior properties, promoting and enforcing equitable housing finance opportunities, and eliminating barriers to fair housing.</p> <p>Where we live has a profound impact our opportunities and outcomes in life. It’s important to recognize this for today’s older adults and to shape the prospects for future older adults.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Alisha Sanders, M.P.Aff., is director of Housing and Services Policy Research at LeadingAge, in Washington, DC.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><h6>References</h6> <p>Bell, J., et al. 2013. “Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters: A Review of the Research.”<u> </u>Oakland, CA: PolicyLink. tinyurl.com/l8l4flw. Retrieved May 22, 2020.</p> <p>Braveman, P., et al. 2011. “How Does Housing Affect Health?” <i>Issue Brief #7</i>. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. <a href="https://www.rwjf.org/en/search-results.html?at=Braveman+P">tinyurl.com/y82zk7oh</a>. Retrieved May 22, 2020.</p> <p>Butrica, B. and Mudrazija, S. 2016. “Home Equity Patterns Among Older American Households.” <a href="tinyurl.com/y9n6zfpw">tinyurl.com/y9n6zfpw</a>. Retrieved June 11, 2020.</p> <p>Center for Housing Policy and Enterprise. 2007. “The Positive Impact of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Study.” <a href="tinyurl.com/y8oonp4k">tinyurl.com/y8oonp4k</a>. Retrieved May 22, 2020.</p> <p>Center on Social Disparities in Health. 2015. “How Do Neighborhood Conditions Shape Health?” <a href="tinyurl.com/y7bxt6ya">tinyurl.com/y7bxt6ya</a>. Retrieved May 29, 2020.</p> <p>Gaskin, D., Dinwiddie, G., Chan, K. and McCleary, R. 2012. “Residential Segregation and the Availability of Primary Care Physicians.” <em>Health Services Research</em> 47(6): 2353-2376. <a href="tinyurl.com/y8s3yzw6">tinyurl.com/y8s3yzw6</a>. Retrieved June 11, 2020.</p> <p>Johnson, R. 2020. “Seven Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic Could Undermine Retirement Security.” <em>Urban Wire.</em> <a href="tinyurl.com/ybloxa5p">tinyurl.com/ybloxa5p</a>. Retrieved May 29, 2020.</p> <p>Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. 2019. <em>Housing America’s Older Adults 2019</em>. Boston, MA: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.</p> <p>Manville, M., Monkkonen, P., and Lens, M. 2019. “It’s Time to End Single-Family Zoning.” <em>Journal of the American Planning Association</em> 86(1): 106–12. <a href=" tinyurl.com/y9m989zl">tinyurl.com/y9m989zl</a>. Retrieved June 2, 2020.</p> <p>Massey, D. 2015. “The Legacy of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.” <em>Sociological Forum </em>30(1): 571–88.</p> <p>Mather, M., and Scommegna, P. 2017. “How Neighborhoods Affect the Health and Well-Being of Older Americans.” <em>Today’s Research on Aging</em>. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau. <a href="tinyurl.com/y94ztxr9">tinyurl.com/y94ztxr9</a>. Retrieved May 22, 2020.</p> <p>Perry, A. and Harshbarger, G. 2019. “America’s Formerly Redlined Neighborhoods have Changed and so Must Solutions to Rectify Them.” <a href="tinyurl.com/yczg24ko">tinyurl.com/yczg24ko</a>. Retrieved May 22, 2020.</p> <p>Rosnick, D., and Baker, D. 2014. “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances.” Center for Economic and Policy Research. <a href="tinyurl.com/ybzk5h7z">tinyurl.com/ybzk5h7z</a>. Retrieved May 29, 2020.</p> <p>Rothstein, R. 2017. <em>The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.</em> New York: Liveright.</p> <p>Stahre, M., et al. 2015. “Housing Insecurity and the Association with Health Outcomes and Unhealthy Behaviors, Washington State, 2011.”<em> Preventing Chronic Disease</em> 12: 140511. <a href="tinyurl.com/ydy7m3e4">tinyurl.com/ydy7m3e4</a>. Retrieved May 22, 2020.</p> <p>Thornton, A., and Estep, S. 2019. “Take Stock of Spending Through Tax Code.” <a href="tinyurl.com/y9r9fvne">tinyurl.com/y9r9fvne</a>. Retrieved June 2, 2020.</p> <p>United States Department of Agriculture. 2009. “Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences.” Report to Congress. <a href="tinyurl.com/yx5hwfxo">tinyurl.com/yx5hwfxo</a>. Retrieved May 29, 2020.</p> <p>Vega, W., and Wallace, S. April 2016. “Affordable Housing: A Key Lever to Community Health for Older Americans.” American Journal of Public Health, 106(4): 635–6. <a href="tinyurl.com/yc4anlh9">tinyurl.com/yc4anlh9</a>. Retrieved June 3, 2020.</p> <p>Williams, D., and Collins, C. 2001. “Racial Residential Segregation: A Fundamental Cause of Racial Disparities in Health.” Public Health Reports, Volume 116. <a href="tinyurl.com/y7sm7lml">tinyurl.com/y7sm7lml</a>. Retrieved June 2, 2020.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/13" hreflang="en">Housing</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Alisha Sanders</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/summer-2020" hreflang="en">Summer 2020</a></div> </div> Fri, 17 Jul 2020 23:19:02 +0000 asa_admin 43 at http://generations.asaging.org Averting a Housing Crisis and Shining a Light on Inequities in Elder Housing http://generations.asaging.org/housing-crisis-older-adults-alisha-sanders <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Averting a Housing Crisis and Shining a Light on Inequities in Elder Housing</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/07/2020 - 23:12</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-journal" hreflang="en">Generations Journal</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">‘I wanted to recognize the key role of the “shelters” in which most older adults live.’</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"><img alt="Alisha Sanders headshot" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ea630ef1-65f7-4b82-8ad0-d5ccb53e452c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Sanders-Alisha.png" style="margin:8px" /><figcaption>Summer Generations Guest Editor Alisha Sanders</figcaption></figure><p class="dropcaps">When asked about her motivation for guest-editing this Summer issue of Generations, Guest Editor Alisha Sanders said, “I wanted to help bridge two worlds­­–to help aging services people understand more about housing and to help housing people understand more about older adults.”</p> <p>Sanders directs housing and services policy research at LeadingAge, in Washington, DC, and is thrilled that Generations chose to devote an edition of the journal to housing.</p> <p>“Housing doesn’t often get emphasized in the aging services world,” said Sanders. “My intent with this collection of articles was to keep the focus on ‘housing’ and not slide into residential care settings. That’s not to say those settings aren’t crucial, and of course there are important policy and practice issues to address in that realm. But I wanted to recognize the key role of the ‘shelters’ in which most older adults live, to help people to fully understand the housing situations of older adults, where gaps exist and which issues need addressing,” she added.</p> <p>At LeadingAge, Sanders studies programs and models that link affordable senior housing communities with health and supportive services. With colleagues and partner organizations, they’ve built a new knowledge and evidence base on the implementation and outcomes of these initiatives to help foster their spread.</p> <p>“I’ve always been passionate about housing policy, and sort of ‘fell into’ the older adult aspect,” Sanders said. She stayed in the older adult arena, however, because she’s intrigued by the way housing intersects with other aspects of older adults’ lives, and how central the combination can be to quality of life, especially for low-income older adults.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘I wanted to recognize the key role of the “shelters” in which most older adults live.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Sanders also feels it is critical to recognize older adults in housing discussions, as currently they are often left out. A perception remains that older adults tend to live in stable situations in housing they own. But older adults face significant gaps in access to quality, affordable housing, and many live in precarious situations. And there are a burgeoning number of older adults with no housing at all. Plus, as the work LeadingAge and others have done has shown, housing can play a key role in addressing social and health needs as well.</p> <p>“I hope these articles will help to reveal the significant implications housing policy has on other aspects of life, particularly for persons of color. Current U.S. housing policy is strongly intertwined with economic opportunity and security, which is clearly shown in the disparities in homeownership rates, home values, and wealth between white older adults and black older adults,” said Sanders.</p> <p>She points to a r<a href="https://www.redfin.com/blog/redlining-real-estate-racial-wealth-gap/">ecent study</a> showing that homeowners in previously redlined neighborhoods—in which, until 1968, federal government policy effectively denied mortgage loans to people of color—have gained 52 percent less in home equity over the past 40 years than homeowners in previously greenlined areas.</p> <p>“Home equity is a key component of wealth in this country,” said Sanders. “And this study found that black homeowners today are about five times more likely to own a home in a formerly redlined area than a greenlined neighborhood. So many black homeowners are not able to realize the same potential wealth-building benefit as white homeowners because they have been tracked into segregated neighborhoods that have faced decades of underinvestment.</p> <p>Many older adults will be unable to afford the care they will need as they age in the years to come, and housing is at least one contributor to this lack of funds. Many elders of color would have been denied the opportunity to purchase a home or would have been limited to neighborhoods that experienced and continued to experience years of disinvestment, thus earning far less in home equity. To the extent that an older adult may tap into home equity or sell a home to help support care needs, this source of funds is limited for those whose housing equity opportunities have been curtailed. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Black homeowners are about five times more likely to own a home in a formerly redlined area.</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Of course, for many older adults who were lower-wage workers over their lifetime, buying a home was never an option. Many of these older adults tend to rely largely on Social Security for their retirement income. According to the <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/basicfact-alt.pdf">Social Security Administration</a>, Social Security makes up 90 percent or more of the income for 45 percent of unmarried older adults. In May 2020, the <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/">average monthly benefit for retired workers was $1,512</a>. Given high rent costs across the country, it is clear that many lower-income renters will struggle to find affordable options. </p> <p>Sanders encourages ASA members to become allies to housing advocates and help push for expansions in rental subsidies, learn more about local or state housing advocacy organizations to build collaborations, and get out and help advocate for better housing policies, building and land use regulations, and funding initiatives.   “An older adults’ housing situation can have implications on their health, functionality, and quality of life--all of which many ASA members are addressing,” said Sanders. The success and optimization of the services they are providing can be intertwined with the safety and quality, accessibility, and affordability of their constituents’ housing. Sanders hope this collection of articles will help build ASA members’ understanding of housing issues and the connection they can have to their work.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/23" hreflang="en">Line of Classic Rusty Blue Rural US Mailboxes</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Alison Biggar</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/summer-2020" hreflang="en">Summer 2020</a></div> </div> Tue, 07 Jul 2020 21:12:35 +0000 asa_admin 8 at http://generations.asaging.org Overcoming the 'silver tsunami' http://generations.asaging.org/silver-tsunami-older-adults-demographics-aging <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Overcoming the &#039;silver tsunami&#039;</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/07/2020 - 07:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Aging is a first-person experience.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">The phrase “silver tsunami” drives me nuts. It is a common expression used to describe the unprecedented increase in the number of older people in the world, and it is used even in the aging services sector. People employ this doomsday term as a way of demonstrating they are “in the know” about the demographics of aging.</p> <p>Fact check: a tsunami is a large wave that results in vast destruction and mass casualties. A natural disaster of catastrophic proportions, it is planned for, mitigated against and feared.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this phrase is fun to pronounce. Silver tsunami became embedded in our collective psyche because of its alliteration. And, to some, the phrase sounds clever.</p> <p>Using silver tsunami to describe population aging was intentional as a shorthand description of the burden that will befall the country when millions of people grow old, get sick and need care. It is an economic term, based in calculations of increasing cost. On the nation’s balance sheet, the great silver tsunami rests squarely in the liability column. This drain on financing is coming. Be aware. Be warned. Plan ahead.</p> <h2>Re-Evaluating Impacts of Longevity and the Meaning of Aging</h2> <p>I am all for planning ahead. Increasing numbers of older people will strain our healthcare resources, place increased burden on caregivers and accelerate a workforce shortage. I do not take issue with cost concerns. My protest lies elsewhere.</p> <p>The term silver tsunami fails to account for the asset of increasing numbers of older people, many of whom are reaping the benefits of better health and increased longevity. Its economic assumption presupposes a future of healthcare delivery that resembles the past. We are re-valuing how, and what, we pay for in healthcare and where we should invest in prevention. Even the delivery of long-term care will evolve in the future.</p> <p>Also this phrase does not convey what it means to get old and be old. The swell of people in the wave are individuals, with lives of purpose, meaning, and, yes, difficulty. Aging is a first-person experience.</p> <p>But our culture remains awash with negative images and stereotypes of older people. Ageism is used to diminish and devalue people and is a convenient way to divide adults into two categories: us and them. Ageism distracts from the fundamental truth that advanced age is a period of human development.</p> <p>The FrameWorks Institute is the research partner for the <a href="https://frameworksinstitute.org/reframing-aging.html">Reframing Aging Project</a>, an initiative sponsored by eight leading organizations in the field of aging. FrameWorks has developed strategies for changing the way we think and speak about aging. Consider this question, “What do older people need?” The answer to this question brings to mind an abstract group of old people who will need transportation, housing, care and so forth.</p> <p>As an exercise, now ask the same thing differently, “What will I need when I get old?” The issues of aging are not about other people. The issues of aging are about everyone. Older people are individual glimpses of our future selves, given time.</p> <h2>People Live Longer but Better Lives</h2> <p>In 2017, a person reaching age 65 had an average life expectancy of 19 additional years. A child born in 2017 could expect to live more than 30 years longer than a child born in 1900. In the span of a life, where were those extra years added? Although the average life expectancy has increased, additional years weren’t tacked on at the end. Americans are enjoying more and better years before the declining years of advanced age.</p> <p>In 2009, Harvard Professor Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot wrote a book called “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Third-Chapter-Passion-Adventure-Years/dp/0374532214">The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50</a>.” Professor Lawrence-Lightfoot’s research has led her to conclude that this third chapter is a stage of life when “many women and men are embracing new challenges and searching for greater meaning in life.”</p> <p>Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of <a href="https://encore.org/">Encore.org</a>, explores meaning and purpose in people older than age 50. Freedman is the creative force behind <a href="https://purposeprize.encore.org/">The Purpose Prize</a>, an award given to “demonstrate that older people comprise an undiscovered, and still largely untapped, continent of solutions to an array of pressing societal challenges.” His organization works to innovate “new ideas and models to leverage the skills and talents of experienced adults to improve communities and the world.”</p> <p>These are the assets I’m talking about. Experienced adults can improve the world. They are cherished members of their families and communities. Older people in the third chapter of life are finding additional purpose and exploring creativity. A true accounting of a future full of 95 million older people must be balanced, with an eye toward planning for both the burden of care and the benefit of contribution.</p> <p>Personally, I prefer the term “age wave.” You can ride a wave, but it can capsize you. We must prepare for both. It is essential that we understand the impact on the U.S. economy when, in 2060, nearly 25 percent of the population will be older than age 65. Who will provide care when those individuals reach advanced age? How will it be paid for?</p> <p>These challenging questions have already arrived with the front edge of this surge. In an August 2019 <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/this-will-be-catastrophic-maine-families-face-elder-boom-worker-shortage-in-preview-of-nations-future/2019/08/14/7cecafc6-bec1-11e9-b873-63ace636af08_story.html?arc404=true">article</a>, The Washington Post explored in detail the elder boom and worker shortage currently facing the state of Maine. The article predicts the issues confronting Maine are a preview of the nation’s future.</p> <p>As we prepare for this wave, we also must plan to surf it. Millions of us will have time and experience to share. We need to be healthy enough to do so, mentally and physically. It is essential we devote additional time and more resources to healthy aging, as individuals who are growing older and as a nation concerned about health.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Kathy Greenlee, J.D., previously served as U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging and Kansas Secretary for Aging. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Aging, and member of the Generations Editorial Advisory Board.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/7" hreflang="en">Tsunami</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>Op-Ed</strong><br /> By Kathy Greenlee</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/july-aug-2020" hreflang="en">July-Aug 2020</a></div> </div> Tue, 07 Jul 2020 05:00:00 +0000 asa_admin 10 at http://generations.asaging.org We Have Questions for the President Elect, What Are Yours? http://generations.asaging.org/what-are-your-questions-president-elect <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">We Have Questions for the President Elect, What Are Yours?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 11/20/2020 - 19:29</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">These are just a few questions we have. What are your policy questions?</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">With less than two months left until the inauguration, President-elect Biden and his transition team have an opportunity to plan for the most age-forward policy agenda in history. Within each priority area identified by the incoming Administration, there are immediate questions the transition team must answer to ensure older adults are part of the planning and are considered as a critical constituency on Day One of the incoming Administration. We hope leaders from all parties take advantage of the broad opportunity to plan for 2030, when one in five people will be older than age 65.</p> <p>As President-elect Biden builds a diverse transition team that includes more people of color and women, we hope he also includes older voices, to bring not only experience, but also new ideas and opportunities for growth. Given the disproportionate and ongoing impact the pandemic has on older adults, there’s no better place to start than with adding experts in aging on the COVID-19 Task Force.</p> <p>The American Society on Aging is happy to suggest leaders in the field for this important effort. It is imperative that the transition team also recruit leaders in aging onto future task forces, advisory councils and the federal government who aren’t ageist, value older adults and who have an expansive view of aging policy through a nonpartisan lens. These voices can champion older adults across all of the President elect’s priorities.</p> <p>Here are some looming questions for the President-elect and his transition team that directly impact older adults in this country:</p> <p><strong>COVID-19: </strong>How will you prioritize PPE distribution, vaccine testing and delivery for older people working as essential employees, caring for others, or living in long-term care?</p> <p><strong>Economic Recovery: </strong>How will you create jobs for older Americans now, and in the future, who face lost retirement savings and lower Social Security payments from being out of work?</p> <p><strong>Racial Equity: </strong>How will you address racial disparities across the lifespan in healthcare, housing, education and access to a living wage?</p> <p><strong>Climate Change:</strong> How will older adults be included as part of the solution, instead of being framed as the cause of the problem?</p> <p>These are just a few questions we have. What are your policy questions? Let us know what you think the incoming Biden Administration should prioritize. <a href="https://asaging.org/asas-policy-initiatives">Get involved in ASA’s policy work here.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Peter Kaldes is CEO and President of the American Society on Aging.</em></p> <p>Image: "Grassroots Fundraiser with Vice President Biden and Senator Harris—Wilmington, DE—August 12, 2020," by Biden For President is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/206" hreflang="en">Joe Biden and Kamala Harris</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Peter Kaldes</p> </div> </div> Fri, 20 Nov 2020 18:29:37 +0000 asa_admin 188 at http://generations.asaging.org Beware Fraudsters Taking Advantage of the Pandemic http://generations.asaging.org/fraudsters-taking-advantage-pandemic <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Beware Fraudsters Taking Advantage of the Pandemic</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/18/2020 - 22:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">New COVID-19 related scams are proliferating.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">As more communications and digital transactions move online, it becomes critical to be vigilant around protecting personal information. Every year, millions of older Americans fall victim to cybercrime. Since the onslaught of COVID-started, there has been a 209 percent increase in the use of older adults’ personal IDs to commit fraud. On average, <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/elder-fraud">elders lose almost $3 billion annually</a> to this type of abuse.</p> <p>In October 2020, the <a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-mn/pr/sixty-defendants-charged-300-million-nationwide-telemarketing-fraud-scheme">U.S. Attorney Generals’ office in Minnesota charged 60 people with scamming more than 150,000 older people out of more than $300 million</a>. Throughout the remainder of 2020, new records may be broken for this level of scamming.</p> <p>From claims that utilities will be shut off if a payment is not made immediately to holiday charity fraud, there are numerous scams happening. Much of the population is familiar with scams and unfortunately, none are immune to them. And while younger adults can more easily recover, financially, older adults can sometimes lose their retirement savings.</p> <p>What follows is a COVID-19 fraud checklist to ensure bank accounts, credit cards and identity remain out of the hands of criminals, especially as the pandemic hits another surge, and as scammers use new methods to commit fraud.</p> <h2>COVID-19 Fraud</h2> <p>As the United States grapples with COVID-19, scammers have taken advantage of the confusion and developed new hoaxes that prey upon older adults’ fears of contracting the virus. Scammers using a wide range of tactics to harm older adults emotionally and financially. Here are a few new COVID-19–related scams specifically targeting older adults, plus actionable steps to consider when encountering them.</p> <h2>COVID-19 Home Testing Kits</h2> <p>Many scammers are calling or texting older adults offering “<a href="https://oig.hhs.gov/coronavirus/fraud-alert-covid19.asp">coronavirus testing kits</a>” in an attempt to collect financial information such as credit cards or bank account numbers. In some cases, people are asked to verify their Medicare ID, Social Security number or home address. Most test kits being advertised are neither FDA-approved nor accurate. For more information on COVID-19 home testing kits, consult a physician or a medical office to ensure that the test is legitimate.</p> <h2>Fake COVID-19–related Products and Services</h2> <p>Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work. Examples include fake drugs, vaccines and other devices. Instead people should follow government public health guidelines. If targeted by fake COVID-19–related products and services, it’s best to not respond to texts or emails. Instead mark unverified senders immediately as spam and block incoming calls that are not saved in a contact list.</p> <h2>Stimulus-related Scams</h2> <p>The Department of Justice is aware of <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/27/new-scams-target-coronavirus-stimulus-checks.html">several scams related to the CARES and HEROES acts</a> that were offered as part of the federal government’s response to COVID-19. These scams ask consumers to provide bank account information so funds can be “released” or loan applications can be approved by the government. Earlier this month, the State of Colorado announced it successfully foiled scams, preventing the payment of nearly $1 billion in fraudulent claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, federal money intended for out-of-work freelancers, gig workers and the self-employed. Scammers will do everything possible to try to obtain personal information, so it’s important to be aware of various ways of going about this. If a local organization requesting personal information is unfamiliar, it’s best to call the state’s Better Business Bureau.</p> <h2>Charity Scams</h2> <p>Fraudsters are now tricking people into <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-warns-of-potential-charity-fraud-associated-with-the-covid-19-pandemic">giving money to false charities</a>, especially as the holidays approach. Similar to real charities, they might set up a website or collection page for a noteworthy cause, sometimes even supporting it with a heart-wrenching (but fake) story about a person in need. Some make a phone calls masquerading as granddaughters or grandsons asking for financial assistance for a noteworthy cause. After the victim donates, the site will show no signs of its existence and/or the phone number will disappear. Verify any charity under consideration for donating, and never click on links from unfamiliar sources.</p> <h2>Verified Nonprofits Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic:</h2> <ul><li> <p><a href="https://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a>: A guide to intelligent giving</p> </li> <li><a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/">Charity Watch Lists</a>: verified nonprofit organizations</li> <li><a href="https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search">IRS: Tax-exempt organization search</a></li> </ul><p>Outside of COVID-19, identity theft, credit card and debit card fraud, investment scams and prize and lottery fraud continue to be a problem.</p> <h2>Fraud Prevention Solutions</h2> <p>There are many types of fraud prevention solutions on the market. At the consumer level, popular options would be services like <a href="https://www.transunion.com/">Transunion</a> and <a href="https://www.experian.com/">Experian</a> (the same agencies that provide credit reports). These companies will use their vast resources to identify potential risks and can provide a single, secure access point for all of online accounts.</p> <p>To store important documents or personal information, consider <a href="https://www.pillarlife.com/">using an app like Pillar Life</a>. Pillar uses multiple layers of industry-leading protection so that no one except the person storing information will be able to access said information.</p> <p>Lastly, earlier this year the U.S. Attorney General’s office set up a dedicated hotline to report elder abuse and elder fraud, call 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311) and the <a href="https://ovc.ojp.gov/">Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crimes</a> will be there to help.</p> <p>The <a href="https://stopelderfraud.ovc.ojp.gov/">National Elder Fraud Hotline</a> serves all adults ages 60 and older seven days a week. Reporting financial losses from some types of fraud as soon as possible—within three days—can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. Reporting is essential because it is the first step in connecting the victim to authorities and can help to identify those who commit fraud—preventing additional victims.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Michael Bloch is the CEO and Founder of <a href="https://www.pillarlife.com/">Pillar</a>, a family-first digital platform that makes it easier for people to organize, store and protect important family documents.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/205" hreflang="en">COVID-19 Fraud</a></div> </div> Wed, 18 Nov 2020 21:00:32 +0000 asa_admin 187 at http://generations.asaging.org Responding to an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: One Caregiver’s Experience http://generations.asaging.org/responding-alzheimers-diagnosis-caregiver <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Responding to an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis: One Caregiver’s Experience</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/16/2020 - 19:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Tom was officially diagnosed in 2007 as having young onset Alzheimer’s disease.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>(This blog is based on an interview with Mary Swenson, a member of Without Warning, Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center support program for individuals living with young onset Alzheimer’s, and their family members.) </em></p> <p class="dropcaps">N<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719424/">early 5 million Americans</a> are living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, and estimates indicate there will be more than 13 million by 2050. However,<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2787842/"> many people who meet the criteria are not diagnosed</a>, and public health officials believe that the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/stigma-and-AD-brief-july-2015.pdf">fear and stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease</a> or related dementias may cause someone not to see their provider when they are experiencing symptoms.</p> <p>Without a diagnosis, people have no access to available treatment, nor are they able to make plans for their future while they still can. As symptoms progress, they may limit interactions with others, leading to social isolation and depression. Family members and friends may not know how to help. Improved understanding and public awareness are the most effective ways to combat this stigma.</p> <p>What follows is one caregiver’s story of how she and her husband responded to his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the lessons they learned along the way.</p> <h2>Tom</h2> <p>Tom was a beloved fifth-grade teacher in Darien, Ill. Mary met Tom when she began her work as the school social worker. Mary describes Tom as a “creative, out-of-the-box kind of guy” who worked effectively with kids, some of whom would experience difficulties in a traditional classroom environment. Tom moved on to be an excellent administrator and negotiator as an assistant principal and business manager for the school district.</p> <p>Tom struggled with alcoholism for many years. After he and Mary adopted their son, he got himself into Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and maintained his sobriety until he died. He was active in AA and felt called upon to help others new to sobriety by regularly attending in-patient hospital detox groups and aftercare meetings. Tom welcomed any opportunity to speak about his experience as an alcoholic at meetings or with colleagues and friends.</p> <h2>Seek Medical Care</h2> <p>In 2006, Tom and Mary noticed changes in his thinking and memory. He was retired from the school district, but served as a consultant to the new business manager and eventually to another school district. It took him much longer than it had to figure out the salary schedule and other financial projections on the computer. He also had difficulty filling out deposit slips for their bank account.</p> <p>Mary knew about Tom’s family history with <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease">Alzheimer’s disease</a>, which had also affected Tom’s father, uncle and other family members on his father’s side. She reached out to the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago and convinced Tom to go in for an evaluation.</p> <p>Tom’s initial diagnosis was <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-mild-cognitive-impairment">mild cognitive impairment</a>. However, Tom’s memory and thinking skills continued to decline and a year and a half later, he was officially diagnosed in 2007 as having <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/early-onset-alzheimers-disease-resource-list">young onset Alzheimer’s disease</a>. Tom was 60 years old. Mary describes the diagnosis as a “gut punch,” as if someone close to you had died. They had plans for their retirement and this diagnosis meant everything was going to be different. Tom became withdrawn, depressed, moody and argumentative.</p> <h2>Talk Openly</h2> <p>Mary wanted to share Tom’s diagnosis with friends and family, but Tom wanted to keep it quiet. Even though he had experience talking about something as stigmatizing as alcoholism, he would only agree to share his Alzheimer’s diagnosis with his brother and a few others in Mary’s family.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘You can sit around and wait for this thing to take over or have an adventure.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Shortly after his diagnosis, Tom and Mary started attending <a href="https://www.rush.edu/services-conditions/memory-clinic/without-warning-rush-alzheimers-disease-center">Without Warning</a>, the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center support program for individuals living with young onset Alzheimer’s and their family members. Mary and Tom were able to discuss their struggles in a supportive environment. Over time, Tom felt more comfortable talking openly about Alzheimer’s with others outside of their immediate family.</p> <h2>Live Your Life</h2> <p>Upon reflecting on his diagnosis and the time left he had with Mary, Tom created a bucket list of things to do before he died. Their adventures together included tandem skydiving, climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia, visiting the Cook Islands, walking with grizzly bears in Alaska and going to Rwanda to see the gorillas in their natural jungle habitat. Tom also got to ride as a passenger in a race car at Chicagoland Speedway. Even later in the illness, when he had difficulty walking, Tom and Mary attended a taping of the David Letterman show where they met a couple of strangers which led to Tom, Mary, and their son going to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500 to watch the race!</p> <p>Having something to look forward to helped them counteract what was going on with his disease progression. Mary said, “you can sit around and wait for this thing to take over or have an adventure.”</p> <h2>Plan for the Future</h2> <p>Mary was able to keep Tom at home as they had planned, however, Mary said it is important to have a backup plan just in case. In case one needs to make a critical decision quickly, it’s important to consider ahead of time of how to handle it and involve the person who has Alzheimer’s in the decision-making as much as possible. (RTI International’s National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center developed <a href="https://nadrc.acl.gov/node/137">Advance Planning Guides</a> written for people living with dementia and family caregivers.)</p> <h2>Care for Yourself while Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s</h2> <p>Mary says the biggest lesson she learned came from CBS news correspondent Barry Peterson, who wrote about his wife's diagnosis with young onset Alzheimer’s disease in a book called “Jan’s Story.” When speaking to the Without Warning support group, Peterson said, “This disease is going to take your loved one, don’t let it take you, too.”</p> <p>Mary had gained a lot of weight due to the stress of holding down a job, caring for their son who had significant health issues and caring for Tom. She knew this was a wake-up call and enrolled herself in a weight loss program that included classes, coaching sessions with a nutritionist and a support group. Mary dropped 50 pounds. She hired a caregiver for Tom and took time off a couple times a year to be with her family in North Carolina. As Mary says, “you have to recharge your batteries.”</p> <h2>Enroll in Clinical Trials</h2> <p>Tom believed in doing whatever it takes to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by participating in <a href="https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/clinical-trials">clinical trials</a>. He enrolled in a phase III clinical trial that lasted more than a year. Unfortunately, researchers ended the trial because the treatment was found to be ineffective. This was difficult to hear but it did not stop Tom from enrolling in other clinical trials, including one at the very end of his life that involved a PET scan of his brain.</p> <h2>Leave a Legacy by Educating Others</h2> <p>Tom enjoyed public speaking and often presented alongside Susan Frick, social worker at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, to promote greater awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. When Frick decided to do a documentary about young onset Alzheimer’s disease featuring Without Warning families, Tom was eager to be a part of it. Sadly, Tom was dying by the time they raised enough money, but Frick still wanted them to be a part of it. Mary agreed because she knew how important this documentary was to Tom. Tom died within 12 days of the filming on June 22, 2015.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Elizabeth Gould, MSW, LCSW,</em> is senior research public health analyst and co-director of the National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center. She is at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/204" hreflang="en">Alzheimer&#039;s Disease</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Elizabeth Gould</p> </div> </div> Mon, 16 Nov 2020 18:59:58 +0000 asa_admin 186 at http://generations.asaging.org Families Face New Challenges with Elders Across the Holidays http://generations.asaging.org/new-challenges-elders-across-holidays <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Families Face New Challenges with Elders Across the Holidays</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 11/12/2020 - 18:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Without in-person visits, adult children may miss important cues that their loved ones are declining.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">The holidays will differ this year due to COVID-19. Families more than likely will not gather to celebrate, potentially creating major consequences for aging loved ones and their adult children. These consequences may spell another pandemic-related crisis impacting older adults.</p> <p>Traditionally, the winter holiday season brings adult children together with their older loved ones for extended periods of time. In many cases, it’s the one time of year when families gather. But this year will differ drastically. The research firm <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/travel/holiday-travel-covid.html">Destination Analysts expects only 28 percent of Americans to travel over the holidays</a>, compared to the 53 percent that did last year.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html">CDC is urging careful consideration of holiday plans</a>, and we are seeing increasing media coverage around holiday travel, including articles like this from NPR: <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/24/926687031/thanksgiving-in-the-time-of-covid-19-to-grandmothers-house-or-no">“Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID-19 to Grandmother’s House or No?”</a></p> <h2>Family Gatherings Present an Opportunity to Assess Elders</h2> <p>Family gatherings often provide an opportunity for adult children to assess their loved ones’ physical and cognitive abilities, and to flag potential declines that may affect safety. SYNERGY HomeCare typically sees an increase of inbound calls and digital requests in January, after families have celebrated the holidays.</p> <p>This year, without the benefit of in-person visits, adult children may miss important cues that their loved ones are declining. Those in aging services need to work together to help families overcome these challenges that can affect the health and safety of older adults.</p> <p>SYNERGY recommends our partners in the industry reach out to adult children in their communities and share an approach we call “benevolent probing.” In this age of Zoom and FaceTime calls, adult children should learn how to determine if their parents are functioning well and what to do if a decline seems evident.</p> <p>Benevolent probing is a combination of careful observation and considered conversation designed to gather information in a gentle, non-threatening way to gauge a loved one’s condition, during virtual or physical gatherings. Older adults can fiercely guard their independence, so this technique is intended to minimize any perceived threat to that independence. When speaking with your “sphere of influence,” stress the importance of this method for uncovering important information in the four key areas described below.</p> <h2>Benevolent Probing: Key Areas for Discussion</h2> <p><strong>Activities of Daily Living:</strong> Are older adults keeping up with their appearance, (i.e., shaving, haircut, clothing, hygiene)? Is their weight holding steady? On a video call, ask for a short house tour to see what’s “new,” or ask to see your favorite room in the home. Check to see if there is more clutter than usual. If visiting in person, check the refrigerator to ascertain how well they are eating. Take a look at the expiration dates on medications, too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘How did they move about the house on that video tour?’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Memory: </strong>Inquiring about current events is a great way to test short-term memory. Are parents engaged or protective? If they brush you off with answers like “Yes,” “Right,” or “Hmmm,” it may be an indication of some memory loss. Also ask what they did last weekend or check how up-to-date they are on other family news.</p> <p><strong>Mobility:</strong> How did they move about the house on that video tour? Are they steadying themselves by reaching out to furniture? Is there any bruising, which may indicate a recent fall? If visiting in person, go on a walk with them to see if they tire easily or seem unbalanced. In addition, have them take you on a drive to see if they have lost confidence in their skills. Check their car for dings or scratches.</p> <p><strong>Social Engagements: </strong>Isolation can be a gateway to depression, which also can negatively impact memory or activities of daily living. Ask about their friends and if they’re in touch in person or via phone, as well as typical activities or recent outings. Have they stopped activities beyond what’s restricted because of COVID-19? Do they wish they could do more but have no transportation or need someone to accompany them?</p> <p>Stephanie Allen, who owns SYNERGY HomeCare in Southwest Texas, has another great suggestion. She urges families to check on holiday decorations. If there is a change from previous efforts, this could an indicate that they have had a cognitive decline (not knowing the holidays are here), or fear of pulling storage boxes from shelves, basements or attics. Any lack of normal behavior could be a signal of depression.</p> <p>If any red flags arise, we suggest that the best approach is to not immediately react unless you believe your loved one might be a danger to themselves or others. We want families to enjoy the holidays, and we suggest sharing concerns with other family members and friends to see if they have noticed similar signs. This may prompt creating a plan, or researching potential care options.</p> <p>SYNERGY HomeCare is dedicating significant resources to promoting benevolent probing this holiday season because we believe strongly that the increased isolation necessitated by the pandemic puts our older loved ones at risk. It’s a risk that can be avoided, and we call upon everyone in the aging sector to help ensure that older adults have the care and support they need. We can—and will—solve this problem together.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Charlie Young is the CEO of SYNERGY HomeCare which is headquartered in Gilbert, Ariz.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/203" hreflang="en">Holidays during COVID</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>From Our Sponsors</strong><br /> By Charlie Young</p> </div> </div> Thu, 12 Nov 2020 17:35:32 +0000 asa_admin 185 at http://generations.asaging.org Remembering Dr. Philip R. Lee and His Legacy of Equitable Healthcare http://generations.asaging.org/remembering-dr-philip-r-lee-and-his-legacy <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Remembering Dr. Philip R. Lee and His Legacy of Equitable Healthcare</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/11/2020 - 00:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Dr. Lee helped to use Medicare as an engine for change.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"><img alt="Dr. Philip Lee" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ed2e5a81-3319-4ac2-960c-8727be6cbcc9" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Lee_Philip.jpg" style="margin:10px" /><figcaption>Dr. Philip Lee</figcaption></figure><p class="dropcaps">Dr. Philip Lee, a giant in the field of healthcare and public health policy from the 1960s, has died at age 96 after a long and distinguished career.</p> <p>We remember Dr. Lee for his lifelong efforts to bring medical care and access to health services for all Americans—rich or poor; white or Black, Native American, Hispanic, or immigrant; young or old. Born into a family of doctors, from his 1948 graduation from Stanford Medical School and throughout his long career as a clinician, public health administrator, educator and academic leader, Dr. Lee always sought to make this country healthier and more equitable.</p> <p>At the beginning it was Medicare and the fight to gain coverage for America’s older population that fell outside private, employer-based insurance and suffered high rates of uninsurance. As a young physician, Dr. Lee was among the “fathers” of Medicare. As assistant secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Lee held responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the 1965 legislation establishing Medicare as the federal health program for Social Security beneficiaries who were older than age 65. This provided the guarantee of health coverage that older adults have and cherish today.</p> <p>But beyond the coverage Medicare provided, Dr. Lee and his colleges saw Medicare as a powerful leverage for social change, with the authority of the newly enacted Civil Rights Act of 1965 that provided a vehicle for helping to desegregate America. As Dr. Lee noted in a <a href="https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/asag/gen/2015/00000039/00000002/art00004">2015 Generations</a> journal article, “with the passage of Medicare, 7,000 hospitals became subject to the civil rights legislation.”</p> <p>Evidence demonstrates the impact of this decision and many believe that this leverage was one of the most important steps in moving toward equitable healthcare access in America. Dr. Lee had helped to use Medicare as an engine for change.</p> <p>While Dr. Lee went on to a distinguished career as an academic leader in medicine and public health and a beloved mentor to many of us in health policy, he never left his commitment to Medicare. As the inaugural chair of the Physician Payment Review Commission (PPRC, which is now incorporated in MedPAC), Dr Lee led efforts to revise and reform physician payment that are now embodied in Medicare and widely adopted by private insurers. His vision helped to shape the role MedPAC plays today in analyzing and advising on Medicare payment policy.</p> <p>On a personal level, Phil lee was an incredible mentor and promoter of those who crossed his path. He was forever ready to discuss new career opportunities and to promote his trusted staff and students for new challenges. He was always generous with his time and uplifting in his spirit no matter the ups and downs of public policy. The Phil Lee institute at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) is a testimony to his commitment to support the next generation of researchers, analysts and physicians that will help shape health policy for years to come. Dr. Lee’s longtime commitment to public service inspired a generation of physicians to devote their careers to public health and public service.</p> <p>Dr. Lee leaves not only a legacy that will long be honored, but even more important, he serves as a role model for those of us who try to follow in his footsteps: Fight for social justice and what you believe, no matter how difficult. And mentor and inspire the next generation, so others will take up the challenges and continue to fight for equity and social justice, just as Dr. Lee fought for Medicare throughout his career.</p> <p>As we honor our loss with the passing of our friend and colleague Phil Lee, let us take up his challenge to envision and build a world where healthcare is available and accessible to all.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Diane Rowland, ScD, is executive vice president emerita at the Kaiser Family Foundation, in Washington, DC.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/202" hreflang="en">Candle</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Diane Rowland</p> </div> </div> Tue, 10 Nov 2020 23:27:27 +0000 asa_admin 184 at http://generations.asaging.org When I’m 60 http://generations.asaging.org/when-im-60 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">When I’m 60</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/09/2020 - 19:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Passionate interest in one topic will keep a person working, happily, well into their 70s, 80s and beyond.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">I turned 60 this past Sunday, 60 years to the day President John F. Kennedy was elected. But this post isn’t about elections, god forbid. It’s about how I feel as a staffer at ASA on turning an age directly in line with our work (according to AARP 10 years past the fact), even if the general conceit is that we’re not older until we hit age 65.</p> <p>I don’t “feel” old, as they say, but what is old, anyway? I feel good, likely due to some lucky genes and a propensity for eating all the right things and still running four to five days a week, plus lifting weights. Yes, I’m of that privileged class that grew up knowing this was what we were supposed to do (my mother studied nutrition at Cal) and both my parents were exercise fans, if not nuts. Exercise wasn’t a choice, but a family value, as was going outside as much as possible.</p> <p>And I’m of that lucky class that had the resources and lived in a neighborhood where such opportunities as tennis courts and well-stocked grocery stores were common. I also benefited from a college education, although it took me awhile to figure out how to use it. And I now benefit from a stable, happy loving relationship with a kind human who respects me, and am thrilled to have two so-far trouble-free children in college. Life is good, and I recognize how my earlier conditions have led me here.</p> <p>But what have I learned from those who reached this milestone before me? And those I have the privilege of working with at ASA? A few million lessons, it turns out. </p> <p>I learned from my sister, who never made it past age 56, that if you’re born with the bipolar gene and a rare genetic anomaly in your heart, life will conspire against you. You may become an incredible artist, but also a self-medicating alcoholic smoker who’s not fond of the doctor and thus goes undiagnosed regarding the heart until it’s very late.</p> <p>I learned from my dad, who died after eight long years living with Alzheimer’s, that it first robs you of your wacky sense of humor and then of everything else. Only with a wife who has the physical and mental fortitude of three humans can you choose to live in your house until you fall, hit your head and fail to recover.</p> <p>I learned from my mom that, if at age 87 you fall off a step stool and hit your head on the hard tile floor brain surgery will fix the cranial bleed, but it will leave you cognitively intact yet paralyzed for three years on hospice in a board-and-care home. Also, if you’re my mom, these years can be lived with grace and kindness toward all staff and visitors, as long as the Tennis Channel is available.</p> <p>I learned from my brother, who’s very much alive, that if you’re born with the same bipolar gene and heart defect as our sister you can continue to live a full healthy life if you find a great love who ensures you go to all preventive doctor visits, and your heart surgery goes as planned. You will also manage so far to conquer melanoma, bladder and thyroid cancer.</p> <p>I learned from my other sister that removing a benign brain tumor can leave you without hearing in one ear and a slight but permanent facial paralysis on one side. But, if you, again, like our mother, are made of the toughest stuff, this will not stop you, after retiring from 40 years teaching English as a second language, from running a nonprofit that advocates for asylees and immigrants to get out of detention centers that shouldn’t exist in the first place.</p> <p>I learned from more people than I can possibly mention who I’ve met through ASA that passionate interest in one topic will likely keep a person working, happily, well into their 70s, 80s and beyond. I learned from interviewing countless leaders in aging across 2020 that their continued advocacy and inspiration is not just impressive but contagious. And I learned they are by and large kind, and genuine, and can’t imagine doing anything else.</p> <p>I learned that interviewing people in the trenches of aging, those who work directly with older adults, can be one of the most mind-blowing things I do on a regular basis, and never fails to energize me. These people work so hard bringing to others the same opportunities for a full life from which my family and I have so benefited.</p> <p>I learned to be overprepared for any interview I conduct, as all of these people (from direct-care workers to CEOs to university professors to people who run AAAs) are smart, well-informed, and don’t suffer fools. They’re also more often than not highly amusing.</p> <p>I learned from new staffers and bosses at ASA that passion can be seemingly boundless. Passion for older adults, especially, but also passion for politics and racial justice and equity and for disability rights and LGBTQ rights and for trying to do things the right way, if possible, always.</p> <p>I learned that I’m grateful to do my small part in this world of aging, and now that I’ve crested this personal milestone, I’m determined to do more.</p> <p><em>Alison Biggar is ASA's Editorial Director.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/201" hreflang="en">Alison and family</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Alison Biggar</p> </div> </div> Mon, 09 Nov 2020 18:00:32 +0000 asa_admin 183 at http://generations.asaging.org Tech and Aging and Why It Matters to You http://generations.asaging.org/tech-and-aging-and-why-it-matters-you <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Tech and Aging and Why It Matters to You</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/04/2020 - 23:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">&#039;The digital divide is real and it is deep.&#039;</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">I have heard it over and over again. “The solution is technology.” It seems no matter what the problem is, the solution being offered is technology-based. I can’t tell you the number of calls and meetings I have had with innovators and designers who are working to solve issues around fall prevention, social isolation and caregiving that are all based in technology, and they all want access to our members!</p> <p>The thing is, technology can feel confusing and overwhelming. At least it does to me. And, more importantly, when we say technology, we can be referring to so many different things. It’s almost as if the word has become a ubiquitous response that is supposed to be an easy solution, but without guidance, support and service, it is not always the easy solution that it appears to be.</p> <p>I have a 14-year-old son who taught himself to code and invented an app over the summer. I congratulate myself when I correctly sign onto the VPN every day, and I grew up around computers. My family had two computers in our den before we had a remote control for our television, and after school, one of my chores was to practice spelling on the computer. (I still can’t spell well, much to the chagrin of my English teacher mother.) The fact is a digital divide exists and it is not just about access.</p> <p>The digital divide is real and it is deep.</p> <p>It exists between those who understand tech and those who don’t.</p> <p>It exists between those who can afford tech and those who can’t.</p> <p>It exists between those who have access to tech and those who don’t.</p> <p>It exists between those who love tech and think it can solve everything, and those who sometimes want to put it back in the box.</p> <p>It exists between those designing tech and those who use it, who aren’t 20 years old. </p> <p>It exists between those who use the word tech to define everything, from a pair of glasses you can wear to alert your child (who can be anywhere), that you have fallen, to a database that can track your susceptibility to COVID-19 (two concepts, both of whose designers met with us just last week) and those of us who are trying to get our phone systems to work now that the entire staff works out of their homes.</p> <p>It exists along color lines and socioeconomic lines and geographic lines.</p> <p>I’ll say it again. The digital divide is real and it is deep.</p> <p>That is why ASA is taking a deep dive into it, and using our new membership benefits programs. You may have noticed in our new <a href="https://asaging.connectedcommunity.org/communities/collaboratives">Collaboratives </a>Platform, and our <a href="https://asaging.connectedcommunity.org/communities/community-home?CommunityKey=9065ba9a-6b7e-4829-9a54-a108533c68d3">Tech and Aging Incubator</a>. This isn’t just for people who have an invention or idea, there is no need to be a “Techie.” We want you to join if you are a social worker or caregiver who may end up using the technology. ASA wants to help drive co-design to ensure that the voices of older adults, their caregivers and the people who work on their behalf are all being considered in the design of tech that is being developed for them!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>One tech innovator now requires his staff to live in a long-term care facility at the start of their employment.</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I recently met a gentleman from France who moved into a nursing home and lived there to get to know what being a new resident feels like as he was developing fall prevention aids for nursing homes. He now requires his staff to live in a long-term care facility at the start of their employment.</p> <p>We can’t require every innovator to live and breathe the experiences of their end user to that level, but imagine what the user experience would be if they did. Our Tech and Aging Incubator is there to allow you to give input and thoughts, and to connect designers with end users.</p> <p>Also this week, we are releasing our newest Future Proof episode. Future Proof is an <a href="https://www.asaging.org/asa-studios">ASA Studios Production</a>—a podcast and a webcast—our version of a radio or TV show that you can listen to or watch at work, from ASA’s website. Each season looks at a different concept of innovation in aging.</p> <p><a href="https://www.asaging.org/asa-studios#future-proof">This season</a> we are looking at innovations in connectivity, as we gear up for winter months that have traditionally been a trigger for loneliness and social isolation, but are expected to be far worse this year with COVID-19 infections on the rise. We know that not all the tech we talk about is something you will have in your workplaces or homes this year, so we talk about solutions you can implement this year, and those coming in the future, as together we search for long-term connectivity opportunities.</p> <p>And, on Dec. 7–11, ASA launches <a href="https://www.asaging.org/generations-forums">Generations Forums </a>with <em>Tackling the Digital Divide</em>, and when we say <em>Tackling the Digital Divide</em> we mean all of the digital divides! Our new Generations Forums are fun and immersive ways that will require just 30 to 60 minutes of your day for one week to really learn, think about and advocate around one topic that matters in the aging field.</p> <p>We are kicking this Forum off with a focus on tech and aging, because our members asked us to. Especially lately, we have been hearing of solutions offered through technology, but not enough discussion around access, accountability, understanding and collaboration. Our goal is to reframe the solution of technology in a way that makes sense to our field. We purposely kept the cost of to a very affordable $45 for members, as we look for more ways to bring you dynamic content that will help support you right now, when you need it most.</p> <p>Frankly, when one in five people is going to be ages 65 or older by 2030, and 70 percent of the spending power in the United States will be in the hands of those older adults, it seems a little silly that touch screens are being designed in a way that doesn’t work for the dryness of older fingertips.</p> <p>People in the aging sector have as much to contribute to the field of technology as technology can offer to the field of aging, and ASA wants to help guide that opportunity. That is why we are kicking off our new membership benefits programs with a deep focus on tech and aging, and we hope you will join us.</p> <p>As you can see, this isn’t just for the computer science club members anymore! (But, hush! Don’t tell my son. He just thinks it’s cool, and I’ll take that Mom Win!)</p> <hr /><p><em>Cindy Morris is ASA’s Vice President of Development and Community Engagement. Ben Proothi, her son, would love for someone at Apple to read this blog and check out his app!</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/200" hreflang="en">Digital Divide</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Cindy Morris</p> </div> </div> Wed, 04 Nov 2020 22:15:35 +0000 asa_admin 182 at http://generations.asaging.org My Day as a Poll Worker http://generations.asaging.org/my-day-poll-worker <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">My Day as a Poll Worker</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/04/2020 - 19:21</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">I would spend the day helping people to vote for candidates whose values I didn’t share. </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">In response to growing concern about poll worker shortages, ASA gave its employees paid time off if we chose to be a poll inspector. Three employees applied in three different states. Two were told that their services were not required. We were saddened to learn that in one of those instances, in Maryland, the state had cut 80 percent of available polling locations. </p> <p>But I was selected to work for the day at a local suburban polling place in New York, about 3 miles and a 10-minute drive from where I raise my family. For weeks leading up to this, I anticipated the day with a true sense of anxiety. Would it be safe? Our neighborhood has seen repeated protests from both sides, some that erupted in violence. Would the long lines in the cold weather exacerbate these tensions?  Added to this were concerns about being around thousands of people as COVID-19 infection rates are on the rise again, almost doubling in my county across the past month.</p> <p>And yet, I was deeply proud of this action. Since 2016, I have taken numerous political actions, participating in marches and leading demonstrations. I helped to start a coalition of other leaders who were new to this process, so we could work together to collaborate and share resources. When it was suggested that women should run for local office, I did so, though I lost. I work on voter advocacy issues and fought voter suppression by volunteering with a local PAC. This election day act seemed like the perfect way to culminate that effort, to ensure that no polling places would be closed because there weren’t enough workers.</p> <p>But the irony was real—I would not be spending the day helping people to vote for a candidate that I believed in. Rather, I was stationed in a district that sat staunchly on the other side of the aisle. I would be spending the day helping people to vote for candidates whose values I didn’t share.</p> <p>Arriving at 4:45 a.m., I discovered a line of voters waiting. I was so grateful to enter the polling location and see people who had done this job for years. We had Dina, Herman, Lisa, Michelle, Vito and Rose, Democrats and Republicans both, who had been poll workers for more than 120 years, collectively, to lead the rest of us. We first timers ranged in age from the early 20s and up.</p> <p>We could hear the “old-timers,” as they called themselves, mourn the loss of their older friends, who they had worked with every election day, but were sitting out this year. They missed seeing them. They also missed their efficiency. Still by 6 a.m., our doors were open, and the voters were let in. And in they poured.</p> <p>That election site served almost 3,000 voters, and an uncounted number of people who came to vote but could not. They had registered too late. They had never registered at all (New York State does not have same-day registration). Or they were in the wrong location. And, of course, caretakers came as well, not to vote, but to help someone else do so.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A woman in her 60s came early in the morning. It was her first time voting EVER.</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I was assigned “door duty.” My job was to make sure people were wearing masks, that we maintained social distancing and that no one was wearing electioneering materials at the polling location. This meant I had many difficult conversations. It also meant that I met every person who voted in that polling place. And that gave way to many moments I will cherish, and some that will haunt me.</p> <p>There was the woman in her 60s who came early in the morning. It was her first time voting EVER. There was the mother who came with three daughters—triplets who had just turned 18 and also were voting for the first time. There was a 98-year-old man who came with his son and his paid caregiver. His son explained that while he wasn’t sure he would also be able to get to his polling place to vote, his father insisted that he bring him, because he wasn’t going to miss this important election. </p> <p>And there was the moment when the polling location security guard fist-bumped a voter who had used threatening language toward me when I had asked him to turn a mask around that sported a political message. I overheard them coming together around the need for law and order in response to me.</p> <p>Yes, tensions were high, even among those of us working the station.</p> <p>At each desk, there sat a Democrat and a Republican, both of whom cared deeply about the results of this election and who checked that at the door, so they could do their jobs. Together, we ensured that the election process was run fairly and largely without incident. There was an intense beauty in that.</p> <p>In this year, when so many are out of work, I met more than one poll worker who was there because they could collect unemployment and this added small paycheck was immeasurably valuable to them.  There was a sadness and beauty in that as well. </p> <p>As parents came in with their children, I thanked the kids for bringing their parents, and I winked. I told the kids to tell their parents who to vote for, because, after all, it was their future on the line. Every parent agreed. And there was an intense beauty in that, too.</p> <p>As I write this, we still do not know who has won the election. My county had 122,000 absentee ballots that won’t be counted for another few days, so local elections are unknown, and it seems our country’s and the globe’s future rests on a handful of states’ ballots.</p> <p>Right now, my response to this weighted election is not about who won or lost. It is about what I learned. I did not love all that I saw, but one never does. While yesterday I would have treasured being surrounded by people who agreed with me, perhaps I learned more being surrounded by people who didn’t.  </p> <hr /><p><em>Cindy Morris is ASA’s Vice President of Development and Community Engagement.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/198" hreflang="en">Polling Place</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Cindy Morris</p> <p> </p> </div> </div> Wed, 04 Nov 2020 18:21:10 +0000 asa_admin 181 at http://generations.asaging.org The New, Old IBM http://generations.asaging.org/new-old-ibm-age-discrimination-lawsuits <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The New, Old IBM</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/03/2020 - 19:31</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Around 2014, IBM adopted a new legal approach to fend off claims of age discrimination.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">For those who recall the 1960s and ’70s—in all their youthful fury and upheaval—IBM likely fits in as a symbol of a prior era. IBM had a quiet, middle-age profile. It embodied innovation without flash, corporate conformity, focus and efficiency. The IBM personal computer helped change the world, but lacked style and panache. IBM workers—programmers, sales reps and executives, mostly white and male—famously wore white button-down shirts, company ties, dark suits and wing-tips. IBM was a counterweight to the counterculture.</p> <p>Changes in the tech sector hit IBM hard:</p> <p>“Back when companies relied on mainframe computers to crunch their numbers and process their words, times were good at IBM’s Kingston, NY, plant. Workers were well paid, families were invited to picnics on the company’s sprawling campus, and prosperity was real for thousands of hardworking Ulster County residents. As technology changed, so too did the demand for mainframe computers and IBM’s sales plummeted, taking with them the jobs, benefits and economic security many IBMers thought would last forever. Layoffs started in 1993 . . . .” Liz Cooke, Kingston: The IBM Years, June 18, 2014.</p> <h3>Out with the Old, Literally</h3> <p>In the early 2000s, IBM’s response included a new youth focus. As documented in investigative journalism by ProPublica and alleged in multiple lawsuits, IBM began to concentrate recruitment on Millennials and to terminate large numbers of older employees. For instance, a 2006 IBM internal report is cited in one such lawsuit as referring to older workers as “old heads,” declaring younger workers “generally much more innovative and receptive to technology than baby boomers,” and urging IBM’s “organizational technology” to focus on younger workers.</p> <p>Lawsuits filed in New York, Texas and Connecticut, among other jurisdictions, have cited IBM management’s expression of ageist stereotypes in reports, interviews, and company training materials, etc.: i.e., the supposed weaknesses of older workers and corresponding supposed strengths of younger workers. For example, in 2014, a Connecticut jury awarded $2.5 million for age discrimination to a 61-year-old executive who was fired after 41 years with IBM, in Castellucio v. Int’l Bus. Machs. Corp., No 3:09-cv-01145 (D. Conn. July 23, 2014).</p> <p>A new IBM strategy—to deny laid off workers information needed to bring an age-discrimination case—was alleged in the 2019 case, Estle, et al. v. IBM Corp., No 7:19-cv-02729 (S.D.N.Y.). As background, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) prohibits companies from requiring terminated workers to sign away their right to sue for age discrimination in exchange for severance pay, unless providing key age-related information about the layoffs.  Plaintiffs alleged that IBM subverted this scheme by now requiring laid off workers to sign waivers only of their rights to sue in court and to bring collective actions in arbitration. IBM contended that, since this still permitted the sliver of a right to sue (individualized arbitration), the company had no duty to disclose information on the role age played in the terminations. IBM no longer had to identify, for instance, the criteria supposedly applied by the company in selecting employees for layoff, the ages and job titles of all individuals laid off and all those considered for layoff but retained by the company.</p> <p>In short, the Estle plaintiffs retained the right to sue, but did not get data needed to assess the strength of their case. While Estle, et al. found their way to the courthouse to lodge claims (and engaged highly skilled counsel), most older workers fired in a layoff are unlikely to get that far, without information on the layoff’s age impact. IBM’s policy also forbade plaintiffs from pursuing a collective action akin to the “class actions” permitted in race and sex discrimination cases under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So much for “strength in numbers” and the efficiency of litigating claims of those “similarly situated” in a single proceeding.</p> <p>Estle, et al. challenged the “collective action waiver,” arguing that IBM failed to comply with strict requirements contained in the ADEA for extracting such a waiver. On September 21, 2020, Judge Paul Gardephe ruled that the OWBPA only protects older workers against waivers of “substantive” rights—i.e., the right to bring an age bias claim in some form and in some forum, not “procedural” rights—such as the right to proceed collectively under the ADEA. That ruling is now on appeal in the Second Circuit.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘More than 100 plaintiffs are pressing ahead with ADEA claims in individual arbitration.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Two other cases against Capital One are testing the issue of whether companies can lawfully demand that employees agree to waive a right to bring an ADEA collective action to challenge their terminations in return for severance pay. A federal judge in Richmond, Va., ruled for Capital One on this point but permitted the plaintiffs, Nanette Hutchens and Virginia Stirnweis, to file a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (also in Richmond) to reconsider this issue. The court observed that another U.S. Court of Appeals (the Sixth Circuit, headquartered in Cincinnati) had ruled—in a case not involving an employer-imposed agreement to arbitrate any disputes arising out of employee terminations—that no such waiver could be required. </p> <p>Yet another case, along with Estle and the Richmond cases, will determine the effectiveness of companies’ efforts to avoid legal liability for their aggressive youth orientation. In Rusis, et al. v. IBM, 1:18-cv-08434-VEC (S.D.N.Y.), fired IBM workers are maintaining a different, two-pronged strategy. Instead of challenging their waiver of the right to proceed collectively, more than 100 plaintiffs are pressing ahead with ADEA claims in individual arbitration. This could be quite costly for IBM. And yet another group of plaintiffs, who did not sign a waiver of claims, are pursuing a collective action.</p> <p>Finally, on Aug. 31, the New York office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a letter to former employees of IBM who complained to the agency about age discrimination, concluding that its investigation confirmed that between 2013 and 2018 terminations at IBM showed a pattern of intentional age bias. The agency cited various evidence supporting its conclusion that the company focus on reducing its headcount by firing older workers in order to replace them with younger employees. The EEOC noted that although IBM contended that those terminated lacked skills, the company rehired some as contract employees.</p> <p>It remains to be seen how the EEOC will proceed based on its findings.</p> <p>Stay tuned.      </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Daniel Kohrman is a Senior Attorney at AARP Foundation in Washington, DC.   </em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/199" hreflang="en">Black and white photo of building with IBM logo on it</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Daniel Kohrman</p> </div> </div> Tue, 03 Nov 2020 18:31:01 +0000 asa_admin 180 at http://generations.asaging.org Still Dedicated, Always Vigilant: The Direct Care Worker During COVID-19 http://generations.asaging.org/direct-care-workers-during-covid-19-vigilant <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Still Dedicated, Always Vigilant: The Direct Care Worker During COVID-19</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/02/2020 - 22:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">&#039;Mentally, it affects you. I’m afraid of maybe being asymptomatic and giving it to my kids.&#039;</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">Direct care workers care for older adults in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and private homes. During the pandemic many of these places can be ground zero for COVID-19 infections, or the direct care worker could be viewed as a disease vector. Either way, direct care workers are essential in the true sense of the word, providing intense caregiving services to people while family members often are kept at bay. In late September <strong>Generations Today</strong> spoke to two direct care workers, to hear how they have weathered this most difficult of years.</p> <h2>CNA/Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant (CHPNA) Musa Manneh, age 57:</h2> <p>Manneh lives in Raleigh, NC, and works for Transitions LifeCare, bathing, grooming and taking close care of people with terminal illnesses who are receiving hospice. His patients range in age from 45 to 90 years old and older, and all have a prognosis of fewer than six months to live. He has been with Transitions for 11 years.</p> <p>With Manneh caring for terminal patients is innate, as he cared for his first terminal patient at age 14, when his father was dying. When, two decades ago, a friend asked him to take care of his older client until he returned from a vacation Manneh said yes.</p> <p>“So I went there and was helping him, and ended up helping everybody else, and management liked what I was doing and asked me to come work there. Which I did for five years, in the dementia unit,” said Manneh. Then Transitions wooed him away.</p> <p>The pandemic has been worrisome for Manneh as despite taking all necessary precautions and following all guidelines, at first his patients would immediately wipe down all areas he came in contact with, even chair seats. Manneh said people now are more settled in, although he still worries in two directions, about potentially infecting his patients and about bringing infections home and potentially infecting his daughters. Two are in college, one is in high school and one in middle school. And although they don’t live with Manneh, they do visit, but not as often lately.</p> <p>He says the worry was worse in the beginning as less was known about transmission, but still “mentally, it affects you. I’m afraid of maybe being asymptomatic and giving it to my kids, and I have a niece who’s asthmatic, so as the only one that goes from house to house [seeing clients], I need to confine myself from them,” Manneh says. “I have to stay away from them, and that’s hard.”</p> <p>In the end, however, love for his job motivates him to keep going, despite the risks. “To help patients, they are going through a very difficult time and you are there as a help to remove them from the emotional times,” Manneh said. “They look forward to you coming, you’re helping them with things they have no knowledge of, or experience with, like seeing a loved one at the end stage, going through death. … You try to make the patient more comfortable and to help them.</p> <p>“It’s motivating to know you are helping someone who appreciates what you do. I’m so blessed. And when they tell you thank you, it makes it all worth it.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>'They’re scared but then a songbird passes by in the hallway and it cheers them up.'</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h2>Home Health Aide Kim Williams, age 53</h2> <p>Williams lives in the Bronx with her husband and 14-year-old daughter. Her two older daughters are out of the house. For six years she has worked as a home health aide, and is with her current client from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. six days a week. At first, however, she worked in an assisted living facility after graduating from her training.</p> <p>The pandemic threw her into a state of shock at first, she says, as she had been trained to do certain tasks as a home health aide, “but I had to search into myself to do better.” Her husband has emphysema, asthma and diabetes, and her daughter also is asthmatic. Each day when Williams returns from work she strips off her work clothes at the front door, where her husband puts them into plastic, and then she takes a shower.</p> <p>At the beginning of the pandemic Williams says she was very nervous because she was “walking into a place where there wasn’t the proper PPE attire. My company [Cooperative Home Care Associates] had to distribute attire into the facility, as the facility was not giving out protection to people who were going into other people’s homes. They suited me up in hazmat gear: boots, gown, mask, gloves. They protected me and they are still protecting me,” said Williams.</p> <p>On the floor where she worked prior to her in-home assignment Williams says there were six casualties. “I wasn’t trained for this,” she said. “I was trained to have compassion and sympathy, but not to see them loading bodies onto trucks.”</p> <p>To calm herself, Williams sings, and well, too, as she’s an R&amp;B singer when not working as a home health aide. She sang when she worked in the facility, “to uplift them. Everyone was stuck in their rooms, they didn’t want to come out, they couldn’t come down and dine in the facility. They were secluded and it was depressing.”</p> <p>She prayed and she sang in the hallways. “They’re scared but then a songbird passes by in the hallway and it cheers them up.”</p> <p>When asked what she does for herself, Williams said, “My counseling is going to my job every day.” But she sees signs now of a resurgence in her neighborhood. “There was a time [early on during the pandemic] when we heard ambulances consistently in our area. Now again, since last week it’s been like a war zone,” Williams said. In fact there was a spike in cases in the Bronx when we spoke with Williams.</p> <p>But this time it seems the people being loaded into the ambulances were young, ages 15 to 30, Williams said. And seeing that, sometimes the trauma returns. “For myself there is long-term trauma, I will always be on edge, always be on my toes wondering when it’s going to end. It’s just not the norm anymore,” said Williams.</p> <p>She feels sorry for her clients, too. “Never in a million years did I think I would see anything like this—they’re scared they’re going to pass away and they won’t come out of their rooms. They don’t want the mail brought up, they tell me to leave it on the door knob. They aren’t participating in activities. They’re dying on the inside and the aides have to do the best we can to uplift them,” she added.</p> <p>The virus has taken a personal toll, too. “We lost my mother-in-law. I was hospitalized in January and when I came out, two days later my husband was sick and he was hospitalized for five days.</p> <p>“Once it’s over the whole U.S. will need to be in therapy,” Williams said.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Photo of Kim Williams (top of page) courtesy of Kristen Blush.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/197" hreflang="en">Musa Manneh on left and Kim Williams, right</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Alison Biggar</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/nov-dec-2020" hreflang="en">Nov-Dec 2020</a></div> </div> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 21:53:28 +0000 asa_admin 179 at http://generations.asaging.org ASA’s Last-minute Voting Tips http://generations.asaging.org/asas-last-minute-voting-tips-dont-be-intimidated <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">ASA’s Last-minute Voting Tips </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/02/2020 - 19:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">&#039;Don’t let anyone intimidate you.&#039; </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">Knowing ASA Members, I suspect many of you have already voted and also have ensured that the people you serve have voted. I’m proud of ASA’s long-standing commitment to this fundamental civic duty of our democracy. For those of you who are voting today, we wanted to share some last-minute tips as you head to the polls, or provide an easy guide to share in your community:</p> <h3>Prepare for the polls</h3> <ul><li>Know your state’s laws, and keep in mind some have changed this year in response to COVID-19. </li> <li>Make sure you have the appropriate identification required in your state.</li> <li>Get ready for long lines with a chair, food and water.</li> <li>Stay safe with masks, hand sanitizer, a charged cell phone and black pens.</li> </ul><h3>Get to the polls</h3> <ul><li>Know someone who needs a ride?</li> <li>Give them a lift!</li> <li><a href="http://www.lyft.com/">Lyft </a>and <a href="http://www.uber.com/">Uber </a>are offering some discounts for a ride to the polls.</li> <li>Call your local taxi service to see if they are offering free rides or if your local nonprofit organizations are repurposing their vans for rides.</li> </ul><h3>Stay at the polls</h3> <ul><li>Once at your correct polling place, stay in line until you vote!</li> <li>Don’t let anyone intimidate you. According to <a href="http://www.vote.org/">vote.org</a>, it is <strong>illegal </strong>for anyone to: <ul><li><em>Intimidate.</em> This may include physically blocking the entrance to voting, cursing at people waiting to vote, looking over people’s shoulders while they vote, questioning voters about their choices or citizenship status and unnecessarily asking for identification.</li> <li><em>Coerce.</em> This may include offering money to vote for a certain person, spreading false rumors about candidates or voting, displaying signs with false or misleading information and impersonating poll workers.</li> <li><em>Threaten.</em> These may include comments such as “your family will be deported if you vote,” “you will be fired from your job if you vote” and “your kid won’t make the football team if you vote.”</li> <li><em>Provide </em>false information about voting requirements. Impersonate poll workers or election officials.</li> </ul></li> <li>If you experience any intimidation report it to <strong>Election Protection (866-687-8683)</strong> immediately.</li> </ul><h3>Just Vote</h3> <ul><li>Don't leave until you have voted. </li> <li>If you are told you’re not on the voter roll, confirm that you are registered to vote and that you are at the proper polling place.</li> <li>If you are registered and at the right site don’t leave! Call the <strong>Election Protection hotline at 1-866-687-8683</strong> and ask for help voting.</li> </ul><p>ASA has been around for more than 15 Presidential elections, so no matter the outcome, ASA will continue to unite, empower and champion all of you the day after this election and beyond.</p> <p>Please vote today.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Peter Kaldes, ASA President &amp; CEO</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/196" hreflang="en">Voting</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Peter Kaldes</p> </div> </div> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 18:05:08 +0000 asa_admin 178 at http://generations.asaging.org Autism Spectrum Disorder and Aging: More Questions Raised, Study Needed http://generations.asaging.org/autism-spectrum-disorder-and-aging-study-needed <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Autism Spectrum Disorder and Aging: More Questions Raised, Study Needed</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/30/2020 - 18:47</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">Some people with Autism Spectrum Disorder need lifelong support and are not able to function fully independently. </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">It seems extraordinary that a condition first described only 75 years ago is now estimated to occur in one in every 61 births. Yet, that is the case with what is now referred to as “Autism Spectrum Disorder,” or ASD. While advances in knowledge and services for younger people with ASD have followed the recognition of this high prevalence, our understanding of the needs of older people with ASD and the development of services to address these needs are largely unmet.</p> <p>ASD was first identified in 1943 as a separate entity by Leo Kanner, the first child psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins. He described 11 children who had difficulty forming relationships with others. Most had difficulty using words and some had intellectual disability. A year later Swiss psychiatrist Hans Asperger described children with similar problem but normal intelligence and intact language, but his description received little attention until the 1970s.</p> <h2>Honing the ASD Description</h2> <p>During the 1940s and 1950s, most psychiatrists and psychologists dismissed the claim that this was a previously undescribed illness and attributed the symptoms to diseases such as schizophrenia. However, as clinicians and researchers saw more children with the symptoms described by Kanner and Asperger they acknowledged the uniqueness of the condition, realized that it was likely present at birth (although often not recognized for several years), that early identification could lessen the negative impact of the symptoms and that the symptoms persisted into adulthood.</p> <p>Today, these two descriptions are recognized as representing a single entity whose symptoms of impaired social communication and restricted interests are on a spectrum from mild to severe, hence the name Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many individuals with milder symptoms of ASD are successful in their family, work and social lives. Others need lifelong support and are not able to function fully independently. </p> <p>Not surprisingly, debates about the definition of ASD continue. Some argue that the mildest symptoms fall within the range of expected human variation. These advocates argue that people without ASD should be considered “neurotypical” people and that those who fall on the ASD spectrum do not have a “disorder” but rather are “different.“ Still others, mostly advocates for the more severely impaired, believe that the need for lifelong services indicates that that ASD is a disease that deserves society’s understanding and fiscal support for housing, education and work.</p> <p>Although first described in children, ASD is clearly a lifelong condition. Many long-term follow-up studies show that symptoms persist into adulthood and old age. I was able to interview or obtain information about 11 of the more than 100 patients evaluated by Leo Kanner in the 1940s and early 1950s who were still alive in the 2010s. Some were fully dependent upon others for food, lodging and day-to-day activities. Others had obtained advanced degrees, held a single job throughout their lives, had healthy children and maintained lifelong relationships. In other words, the condition presents challenges in everyday living throughout the life span for some, but others are able to live fully independent lives. This suggests to me that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to helping people with ASD is neither appropriate nor beneficial.</p> <h2>Outlook, Causes and Aging with Autism</h2> <p>In the past, people with ASD had shortened life expectancy, but today many individuals with ASD symptoms live into old age. We lack a clear understanding of the needs of these older individuals. We do not know whether there are unique medical, psychological and cognitive challenges that people with ASD face as they age, nor do we know whether interventions throughout the lifespan can increase independence, quality of life, medical well-being and social functioning. Hopefully, bringing attention to these questions will lead to answers that improve our ability to help those with ASD meet these goals.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>'Today many individuals with ASD symptoms live into old age.'</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Many distinct causes of ASD have been identified. As many as 10 percent of people on the ASD spectrum have an identifiable genetic abnormality. For example, some individuals with Down Syndrome have the symptoms of ASD. In addition, more than 100 gene variations have been identified that are associated with an increased risk of having ASD. We do not know whether therapies will vary based on the cause of an individual’s ASD or whether the social, emotional and functional impairments that some people with ASD experience will respond to the same interventions no matter what the cause. What is known is that the group of people who fall into the ASD category have higher rates of occupational, social, functional, psychological and health difficulties at every age, but many people with ASD thrive in these areas.</p> <p>Perhaps one-third of people with ASD also have intellectual disability. It seems likely that these individuals will need different supports and interventions than those without intellectual disability.</p> <p>One fact about successful interventions in ASD that is well-documented is that some difficulties are age- or developmental-period specific. Language communication interventions are most effective very early in life. Interventions targeting the transitions to school and into the workforce are effective when provided for individuals at the ages at which those events usually occur.</p> <p>I believe that interventions targeting transitions that occur in mid- and later life, such as having children, retiring, developing complex medical illnesses and experiencing the deaths of parents, spouses, family members and close friends will be needed, but only by careful study will we be able to determine if interventions targeting these challenges are effective.</p> <p>Some older adults with ASD face unique challenges. We do not know how to meet the needs of those who have required lifelong support as their loved ones age and become less able to  support them. Many of the programs that have helped adults with ASD to remain independent become overwhelmed as their clients experience declines in health and cognition. We do not know whether new services need to be developed to meet these complex needs or whether existing programs can be adapted to meet the specific challenges that the psychological challenges of aging, retirement, increasing physical limitations and decreasing size of social networks present.</p> <p>Recognizing what these questions and issues are is a beginning. Now is the time to focus on finding answers and solutions.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Peter Rabins, M.D., M.P.H., is the Richman Family Professor of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Emeritus, in the departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/193" hreflang="en">Adult with autism</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Peter V. Rabins</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/nov-dec-2020" hreflang="en">Nov-Dec 2020</a></div> </div> Fri, 30 Oct 2020 17:47:01 +0000 asa_admin 177 at http://generations.asaging.org Black Americans are Dying Before Their Time http://generations.asaging.org/black-americans-are-dying-their-time <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Black Americans are Dying Before Their Time</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/29/2020 - 22:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-now" hreflang="en">Generations Now</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">&#039;Death rates of Detroit elders still remain 2 to 2 ½ times higher than their counterparts.&#039; </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">Black America is facing a crisis within a crisis within a crisis: a global pandemic superimposed on a chronic disease epidemic, superimposed on a baseline of chronic and historically based social, economic and racial injustice. For an already vulnerable older adult population this pandemic is like pouring gasoline on a raging fire.</p> <p>Between 1990 and 2000, Detroit lost 23 percent of its adult population ages 60 and older due to premature death. This rate of loss, independent of COVID-19, continues today. The Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) recently released “Dying Before Their Time” (DBTT), the third installment in a 19-year study, conducted between 1999 and 2017, that examines why adults ages 50 and older are dying at much higher rates in Detroit compared to the rest of the State of Michigan.</p> <p>Analyzing why this rapid decline was happening was the primary purpose of the first DBTT study completed in 2003. The initial thought was that out-migration was the cause—older adults were simply moving from Detroit to the suburbs.</p> <p>The report, commissioned by the Detroit Area Agency on Aging and conducted by a team of Wayne State University School of Medicine Public Health Scientists, uncovered alarming results. <strong>The 2003 study revealed that more than 33 percent of the older adult population loss in Detroit was due to premature deaths: older adults were dying before their time. </strong></p> <p>The <strong>2020 study</strong> concludes that the death rates of Detroit elders still remain 2 to 2 ½ times higher than their counterparts throughout the rest of the state for the past 19 years and pre-pandemic. Despite years of further validating research and advocacy for greater investment in jobs, education, safe housing, increased access to quality healthcare and social and human services resources—socioeconomic factors that account for up to 70 percent of a person’s overall health status—while there have been community efforts to address these factors, there has been no systemic change.</p> <p>The report also found that the death rate for Detroit adults ages 50 to 59 is 122 percent higher than in the rest of Michigan, and 48 percent higher for adults ages 60 to 74. Now, accounting for the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate rate at which African Americans in Detroit are dying further establishes this public health crisis as an abject lesson in racial and class inequality. These inequalities are founded in systemic, historically based racial, social, health and economic inequities, driven by public policies that must be reengineered to reverse these disturbing trends.</p> <p>In the communities we serve, these inequalities are a direct correlation with disproportionate numbers of African Americans reaching age 60 with chronic illnesses that will shorten their lives. This is not the future we want for our children and grandchildren.</p> <p>In the current “<a href="https://www.docdroid.com/w7ygR0O/dying-before-their-time-iii-daaa-2020-final-pdf">Dying Before Their Time</a>” report, the DAAA proposes six specific actions to address this excessive mortality rate in the short term that focus on services and advocacy. Over the long term, the report lays out four broad-based, systemic and institutional policy changes, addressing the many social factors known to influence the health and well-being of an individual and their community.</p> <p>Our collective goal must be to advocate for all people throughout the lifespan, better prevent and manage onset of chronic disease, and eliminate the risks for premature death. It starts with enhancing healthcare from birth through every stage of life. It continues as we value quality of life for all people, reducing isolation and promoting physical, mental and social engagement, and continuing to make quality healthcare equitable and accessible. It works when we commit to the creation of age-friendly communities that foster independence where people of all ages can thrive. We need to intervene now, or we will continue to see the same negative trend line documented in the DBTT study persist over many decades to come.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Ronald S. Taylor, MBA, MA, is President and CEO of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, one of 16 in Michigan, and serves the state's largest population of minorities in the state. Formerly with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Administration for Community Living (ACL); Taylor is a servant leader with 125 employees who serve more than 100,000 seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers. </em></p> <p><em>Dr. Herbert C. Smitherman, Jr., is a physician and Vice Dean of Diversity and Community Affairs at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Research Lead on the “Dying Before Their Time” study. Smitherman’s research is devoted to improving social determinants of health and working with diverse communities to develop urban-based primary-care delivery systems that integrate the health, social goals and concerns of the community. </em></p> <p><em>Read “Dying Before Their Time” in full at the <a href="https://www.detroitseniorsolution.org/">Detroit Area Agency on Aging’s (DAAA) website</a>. </em></p> <p><em>To join in the DAAA’s webinar on this topic on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. PST, and hosted by ASA, please click <a href="https://www.asaging.org/web-seminars/health-disparities-asking-right-questions-spark-system-change-covid-19-world">here</a>. </em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2020/08/20/opinion-detroiters-dying-before-their-time-because-inequality-racism-covid-19-premature-death-health/5605495002/">Aug. 19, 2020, in the Detroit News</a>. It has been edited slightly to adhere to Generations Now style.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/195" hreflang="en">older Black man on city street looking at camera</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p>By Ronald S. Taylor and Herbert C. Smitherman, Jr.</p> </div> </div> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 21:56:06 +0000 asa_admin 176 at http://generations.asaging.org COVID-19 Shows Why Direct Care Workers Deserve Better Jobs http://generations.asaging.org/direct-care-workers-deserve-better-jobs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">COVID-19 Shows Why Direct Care Workers Deserve Better Jobs</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/29/2020 - 20:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">The median wage for direct care workers increased by only 19 cents between 2009 and 2019.</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, direct care workers have been deemed “essential” to the response. These 4.6 million home care workers, residential care aides and nursing assistants have provided critical support to older adults and people with disabilities in various settings, yet often without the compensation and support to perform their jobs safely and effectively. This story is not new—and I recently wrote a new report for PHI, “<a href="https://phinational.org/caringforthefuture/wouldyoustay/">Would You Stay? Rethinking Direct Care Job Quality</a>,” that aims to learn from COVID-19 and compel our sector to adopt a new framework that transforms this job for the benefit of workers, employers, older adults and people with disabilities.</p> <h2>An Unrelenting Pandemic, An Unprotected Workforce</h2> <p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?action=click&amp;pgtype=Article&amp;state=default&amp;region=TOP_BANNER&amp;context=storylines_menu">As of October 1, 2020</a>, more than 7.2 million COVID-19 cases had been reported in the United States, and more than 207,000 people had died. Among the most at-risk groups in this virus have been older people (particularly those living in nursing homes and those with multiple chronic conditions) and people of color (who are more likely to be exposed as essential workers and likelier to live with the conditions at risk of COVID-19 complications). Direct care workers—who support and represent these populations—have been one of the most critical segments of the essential workforce during this calamity.</p> <p>COVID-19 has amplified the many long-standing challenges facing the direct care workforce, including inadequate training, limited career paths and a general lack of respect, recognition and opportunity. Because this workforce consists primarily of women, people of color, and/or immigrants, these workers have dealt with a history of systemic inequalities, from being concentrated as people of color into low-wage jobs with limited protections to dealing with the impact of racist and sexist policy decisions that have <a href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/womens-rights/womens-rights-workplace/home-health-care-workers-arent-guaranteed-minimum-wage-or">devalued this job</a> over the years and <a href="https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200828.661111/full/">weakened Medicaid</a>, which funds this sector and provides these workers health coverage.</p> <p>Low compensation is another primary barrier for these workers. Direct care workers have struggled with low wages for years; <a href="https://phinational.org/resource/direct-care-workers-in-the-united-states-key-facts/">recent research from PHI </a>shows that the median wage (adjusted for inflation) for these workers increased by only 19 cents between 2009 and 2019. Direct care wages are also not competitive in today's job market. PHI produced <a href="https://phinational.org/resource/competitive-disadvantage-direct-care-wages-are-lagging-behind/">new research</a> for this report showing that in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the direct care worker median wage is lower than the median wage for other occupations with similar entry-level requirements, such as janitors, retail salespersons and customer service representatives. (This finding also obscures the reality that the complex nature of direct care work merits stronger training requirements than these occupations—another barrier for this workforce.) Simply put: these essential jobs just don’t pay enough.</p> <p>As our new report describes, complicating this situation is that most state and federal policy responses to this coronavirus—hazard pay, childcare support for essential workers, temporary nursing assistants and public health emergency leave, among others—have been temporary, which reinforces the need for permanent solutions that transform this workforce once and for all.</p> <h2>The Five Pillars of Direct Care Job Quality</h2> <p>Job quality frameworks have enormous value for employers, workforce development professionals and policymakers, helping them to create jobs across sectors that improve job satisfaction, economic security and career mobility for workers while reducing turnover, increasing productivity and generating cost savings for employers and the economy.</p> <p>Given the many changes over the years in long-term care, as well as the knowledge gleaned from new research and workforce interventions, a new framework is needed to transform direct care jobs and move our sector forward. <a href="https://phinational.org/caringforthefuture/wouldyoustay/">Our report</a> introduces PHI's new framework for job quality in direct care, which spans five pillars and 29 concrete strategies or elements.</p> <p>The five pillars of direct care job quality are <strong>quality training</strong> (training that covers technical and relational skills, among other elements); <strong>fair compensation</strong> (a living wage, access to full-time hours and health coverage, and other aspects); <strong>quality supervision and support </strong>(consistent, accessible and supportive supervision, among other dimensions); <strong>respect and recognition</strong> (the opportunity for direct care workers to influence organizational decisions, and more); and <strong>real opportunity </strong>(employer-sponsored continuous learning, advanced roles and other approaches).</p> <p>Implementing these many job improvements—and transforming this job sector—will require the leadership of policymakers, industry leaders and employers, as well as a significant, front-end investment that will benefit the entire sector in the long term.</p> <p>It should not have taken a tragic and unprecedented health crisis to shed light on the many barriers facing direct care workers. Yet crises can open policy windows. We must capitalize on this moment to boost this sector and dramatically improve jobs for these critical workers and care for their clients and residents. Our new framework offers a detailed roadmap for this transformation—we must act now or the next pandemic will be as catastrophic.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Robert Espinoza is the vice president of Policy at PHI, where he directs a national policy advocacy and research program focused on the direct care workforce. He also serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Society on Aging and the National Academy of Social Insurance.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/194" hreflang="en">Direct care worker</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>In Focus</strong><br /> By Robert Espinoza</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/nov-dec-2020" hreflang="en">Nov-Dec 2020</a></div> </div> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 19:27:00 +0000 asa_admin 174 at http://generations.asaging.org Profound Lessons from COVID-19, Particularly on Leadership http://generations.asaging.org/lessons-covid-19-particularly-leadership <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Profound Lessons from COVID-19, Particularly on Leadership</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/29/2020 - 20:07</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">“Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon.” Mizuta Masahide</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">From day one, COVID-19 has taken swipes at older people and the providers who serve them. But age offers perspective, and the people who choose to care for older people have proven to be more than just kind, resilient and nimble, they’ve also shown themselves to be reflective and willing to grow from this cataclysmic experience.</p> <p>We’ve learned a lot about the science and spread of infection, and about preventing it. Colleen Frankenfield of Lutheran Social Ministries in New Jersey in July told us they lost 40 percent of the community’s residents and two nurses, one who died and a second who was on a ventilator and continues to have neurological issues. She described a lot of infection in March and April, but “not with the symptoms we were expecting.” We now know more and providers are less likely to be taken by surprise, although the virus is mutating.</p> <p>We have seen the future and masks and eye protection will be used by clinicians for all patient encounters. Noah Marco, Chief Medical Officer of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, said when asked by staff how much longer they will have to wear masks and face shields, he told them, “Until the end of your career.”</p> <p>He added that in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, in 1985 the CDC introduced “Universal Precautions.” Before that there were no standards saying providers must wear gloves, mask, eye protection and gowns when they might get exposed to patients’ bodily fluids. In response to this pandemic, clinicians will likely be wearing PPE anytime they are in physical contact with patients.  </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘People needed to know that it is OK to struggle and even their leader is struggling, too.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>We’ve learned how to quarantine those who test positive, how to care for people, including in isolation and how architecture can work to segregate cohorts (can we finally phase out shared rooms?). Soon, we’ll learn how to allocate vaccines. We can repeat lessons learned about the COVID trio—PPE, testing and staff—to be ready for the next wave.</p> <p>We’ve learned that chronic underfunding and general lack of attention have left us with a patchwork long-term care system that is ripe for reform if we’re to avoid a repeat of COVID-19’s devastation. It is rewarding to see that meaningful funding to support community-based alternatives and to pay staff a living wage has become a campaign issue.</p> <h2>Unmasking Leadership Vulnerabilities and Skills</h2> <p>But many of the most profound lessons COVID-19 has delivered to providers have been about people—the workers, those they serve and those they lead. The barn having proverbially burned down, the view of the moon—the lessons of COVID—will endure.</p> <p>COVID has required everyone to wear masks, but it has also unmasked those we wore that obscured leadership, confidence and strength. Authentic aging services leaders no longer project that they always have the answer, are not afraid or will stick with every decision they make even if it’s not working out. </p> <p>Recently I participated in a session with provider leaders on COVID-19 lessons, addressing “what did COVID reveal to you about yourself as a leader?” The lessons these leaders shared echo many we’ve heard from providers across the country in recent months and apply well beyond aging services, to all leaders.</p> <p><strong>Trust and communication always rise to the top.</strong> I’ve spoken with hundreds of providers at all levels and in all types of aging services communities. When asked about their most powerful lesson, more often than not, it comes down to trust and communication. You have to tell people the unvarnished truth. Hiding information when someone tests positive—or gets sick or dies—will backfire. Leaders talk about sharing news through daily meetings, in regular notes to staff and by walking around.</p> <p>One administrator told us she called every resident’s family every day. “My team members trust me to be honest with them, and that creates loyalty. If I tell them it’s safe to work in the COVID unit, they know they needn’t fear.”</p> <p><strong>Listening.</strong> Coupled with transparency and trust is focused listening. Everyone has challenges and difficulties in COVID time. When leaders take the time to find out what’s behind team members’ reactions, they can make changes based on those circumstances. And it makes the whole team stronger.</p> <p>“Forgive people for being someone other than who you are,” said Carol Silver Elliott of the Jewish Home Family in Rockleigh, NJ.</p> <p><strong>Continually offer grief supports.</strong> Loss and grief come with the territory for those working in aging services. But COVID has been an exceptional catalyst for a massive increase in illness and death. Staff lose beloved people they care for.</p> <p>They also lose precious coworkers. One provider told us how one nurse aide’s death rocked the entire team. In addition to the loss of the person, it is a stark realization that coming to work and doing your job could take your life.</p> <p><strong>Be authentic, even if it leaves you exposed and vulnerable.</strong> Julie Thorson of Friendship Haven in Fort Dodge, Iowa, said that to lead humans, you must be human. She describes how fatigue is setting in across the staff. She planned a community wide meeting during which she would deliver an inspirational message.</p> <p>“Instead I started talking and burst out in tears.” She said she felt “raw and vulnerable,” but the episode was more important for the team than she had realized. “People needed to know that it is OK to struggle and even their leader is struggling, too.”</p> <p><strong>But be tenacious. And notice and appreciate every victory. </strong>Elliott’s Jewish Home Family is a stone’s throw from New York City. She describes being hit really hard in that early hotspot, and being advised by medical experts to prepare to provide palliative and end-of-life care, given the frailties of the older people she serves.</p> <p>She said, “Not on my watch. We are going to fight with everything we have.” She determined that everyone was essential. She and her team jumped on testing, hydration, repositioning people, doing whatever it takes. Given the extent of COVID in the surrounding community, there were some losses. But the Jewish Home Family pulled out all the stops and celebrated every resident that recovered.</p> <p><strong>Accept uncertainty. </strong>We spoke with Phil Jacob from Texas, a nursing home administrator who tested positive and had “a bad three weeks,” but then remained positive and had to quarantine for more than eight. This was before the CDC issued revised guidance about returning to work 10 (or 20 in some cases) days after symptoms disappear. The corollary to living with uncertainty is “never let down your guard.”</p> <p><strong>Be ready to reinvent how you approach the work and use resources.</strong> “We spent years building up our incredible resources, then COVID came and wiped it all out,” one provider said. “So we had to reinvent.”</p> <p>Deborah Royster of Seabury Resources for Aging, used her community-based organization’s resources—like transportation and relationships with older adults in the community—to dramatically increase meal delivery to elders newly isolated at home.</p> <p><strong>Don’t lose sight of why you went into aging services. </strong>As one provider in the leadership session said, “I’ve dedicated my life to taking care of seniors. It’s not about me, it’s about them.” Dedication and commitment inspire confidence.</p> <p><strong>Build team cohesion through adversity. </strong>Team bonding, uniting against a common enemy, is at an all-time high in well-led organizations. Leaders who used COVID-19 to strengthen their commitment to a strong, collaborative, team culture are reaping the benefits in less burnout and turnover. Providers talk about everyone learning to do many jobs—from serving meal trays to helping people in isolation stay connected with their loved ones using technology. Shared grief has brought many teams closer, too.</p> <p><strong>Fun, self-care, re-creation. </strong>The COVID pandemic has demanded more of aging services providers than anything that has come before. It is neither fun nor funny, but staying in touch with one’s own humanity has been essential to many. As one provider said, “our team tries to find fun where we can.” One person laughingly responded to the leadership question (What did COVID reveal to you?): “COVID revealed my natural hair color, which I hadn’t seen in a long time!”</p> <p>Self-care comes up in any discussion of leadership lessons. Across the board, provider community leaders describe not taking a day off since the beginning. Many moved onto their campuses.</p> <p>“But we have to get over ourselves,” a provider in the leadership session said. Everyone needs to take time to refresh and renew connections with family and others outside of work. As Thorson says, “when staff come back, they return with an open heart and a readiness to listen.”</p> <p><strong>A lot of work remains, but we are stronger.</strong> Despite emergency planning requirements for aging services providers, COVID has been an example of how people can plan, but the universe laughs. We have a lot of work ahead of us in building and financing a robust aging services system that offers meaningful choice to an aging population.</p> <p>But let’s not take for granted or lose sight of the hard work aging services leaders have been doing and their extraordinary self-reflection. This exponential growth provides a solid foundation for the future system that—we hope—awaits us all.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p>Author note: Thanks to Lisa Henderson, CEO of LeadingAge Maine/New Hampshire, for convening the leadership session from the article, and to Carol Silver Elliott and Julie Thorson for helping to frame and lead the discussion.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Ruth Katz is the senior vice president of public policy at LeadingAge in New York City, and a member of the Generations Editorial Advisory Board.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/192" hreflang="en">Mature professional woman looking out of window with face mask</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>In Focus</strong><br /> By Ruth Katz</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/nov-dec-2020" hreflang="en">Nov-Dec 2020</a></div> </div> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 19:07:16 +0000 asa_admin 175 at http://generations.asaging.org Will COVID-19 Change How We Care for Caregivers? http://generations.asaging.org/will-covid-19-change-how-we-care-caregivers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Will COVID-19 Change How We Care for Caregivers? </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/29/2020 - 00:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/justice-equity" hreflang="en">Justice &amp; Equity</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/economic-security" hreflang="en">Economic Security</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">‘For caregivers, the juggling of family life and other responsibilities is normal.’</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">It’s a classic scene from any vintage romance movie: the rush to the airport, past the gate, to declare undying love. Then 9/11 happened, and national security regulations changed overnight. Off with the shoes, the belt. No more water bottles or bulky jackets. Definitely no running to the gate to meet friends or family members or to profess undying love.</p> <p>Movies struggled to reflect this change in our day-to-day lives—even as late as 2003, the now Christmas classic <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314331/">Love Actually </a>featured the airport as a major plot device (albeit with jolly TSA agents participating in the drama). Collectively we were asking ourselves in the wake of 9/11: Will we ever go “back to normal”?</p> <p>Whereas a terrorist attack was a lightning bolt, the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic is a slow-moving tsunami. The first wave crested in the United States in March. Since then, <a href="https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality">Johns Hopkins has reported</a> that more than 7,800,000 million Americans have been infected and more than 215,000 people have died.</p> <p>After decades of advocacy and incremental approaches to support family caregivers, the pandemic instantaneously put front and center the family responsibilities of so many Americans. Caregiving started to seem as “normal” as getting up to answer the door for groceries. We’re asking: “Will things ever go ‘back to normal’?” But for caregivers, the juggling of family life and other responsibilities is normal. It’s just that people are finally starting to pay attention.</p> <h2>Coordinating Care Is Getting Harder for Caregivers</h2> <p>In April, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham—a former co-Chair of the U.S. Congressional Assisting Caregivers Today Caucus—pled with her constituents to stay home. Holding up a picture of her older mother, <a href="https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/holding-up-a-picture-of-her-mother-governor-pleads-with-people-to-practice-social-distancing/5697287/">Gov. Lujan Grisham said she hadn’t visited her in more than six weeks</a>, and urged other caregivers to keep their distance for the good of the public health.</p> <p>The Governor’s story illustrated one of the emerging divides in caregiving during COVID-19. Restrictions on visitation in healthcare settings created two distinct classes: caregivers who live with the person who needs care and caregivers who are physically distant from the person who needs care. National research, conducted before the pandemic and released in <a href="https://www.caregiving.org/caregiving-in-the-us-2020/">May 2020 by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP</a>, uncovered ongoing care coordination issues for the more than 53 million people in the United States who are caregivers. Thirty-one percent of all caregivers of adults reported it was “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to coordinate care, compared to 23 percent in 2015, when last studied. Difficulty in coordinating was universal, across all age groups younger than age 75, all genders and all income groups. Those caring for adults older than age 65 professed greater difficulty in 2020 than they had five years ago, as did all primary caregivers and long-term caregivers (caring for a year or longer). Perhaps most surprising, caregivers with at least some college education show a marked increase in difficulty of care coordination (34 percent compared to 23 percent in 2015).</p> <p>COVID-19 also amplified care coordination challenges for physically distanced caregivers who may support someone in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Their challenges include:</p> <ul><li><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08959420.2020.1765684"><strong>Gatekeeping and exclusion from bedside decision-making</strong></a>, including changing rules and policies in acute- and post-acute care settings about the caregiver’s role and access to the care plan.</li> <li><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08959420.2020.1764320"><strong>Complications in the grieving process</strong></a>, as families were not able to engage in traditional bereavement rituals such as gathering for wakes and funerals, and many grappled with sudden or “bad deaths” of the people in their care.</li> <li><a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2020/04/30/53-of-americans-say-the-internet-has-been-essential-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/"><strong>An expanding digital divide</strong></a> that creates gaps in access for people who lack Internet access for work, school or telehealth. Americans report that Internet access during the pandemic is at least important (87 percent) or even essential (53 percent).</li> </ul><p>For caregivers living in the same household, care coordination challenges exist in tandem with home-based care stressors. Pre-pandemic findings in the NAC–AARP report noted that these family caregivers more often report feeling lonely (29 percent). Those caring for their spouse are also more likely than other types of caregivers to report feelings of loneliness (29 percent). The pandemic has magnified the impact of existing stressors:</p> <ul><li><strong>Lack of available respite, lack of structure or routines and risk of exposure requiring additional time cleaning and sanitizing the home</strong>, particularly with those caring for <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2020-43961-001.html">someone with dementia</a>.</li> <li><strong>Ongoing exposure risk to family members who may be older or immunosuppressed</strong>, <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0008484">such as immigrants</a> who are more likely to live in intergenerational households, work essential jobs that cannot be done remotely and use public transit.</li> <li><strong>Increasing financial pressures </strong>such as rising unemployment compared to pre-pandemic levels. More than 2.5 million individuals report <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf">permanent job loss</a>, in addition to furloughs, market uncertainty and ongoing shutdowns/reopening heading into the fall and flu season.</li> </ul><h2>Ongoing Momentum for Caregiving Support</h2> <p>As many families look ahead toward major holidays, policymakers have started to think through what caregiving support might look like. Bipartisan COVID-19 legislation passed earlier in the year provided new workplace protections for some caregivers and new funding for Older Americans Act programs including the National Family Caregiver Support Program, through mechanisms such as the <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text">Families First Coronavirus Response Act </a>and <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748">the CARES Act</a>. These laws illustrate an increased focus and attention on the needs of caregivers, and potentially, a shift to recognize the collective impact caregiving has on individuals and communities.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘The issue of caregiving is nearly as bipartisan and is as noncontroversial as apple pie.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Even the Presidential race has identified caregiving as a key issue. Former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a <a href="https://joebiden.com/caregiving/">comprehensive family caregiving and workforce plan</a>. The plan includes provisions to expand employment to direct-care workers, expansion of the Medicaid home- and community-based services program, a $5,000 tax credit for family caregivers, Social Security credits for unpaid care work and additional support for military and Veteran caregivers. The Biden plan creates a number of new infrastructure investments aimed at supporting families, including targeted approaches to tackle the opioid epidemic, strengthen the nursing workforce and provide new grant funding to communities for innovative approaches to community health issues.</p> <p>However, any comprehensive plan must move through a sharply divided Congress. Given the ongoing challenges to the Affordable Care Act (including the upcoming <a href="https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/explaining-california-v-texas-a-guide-to-the-case-challenging-the-aca/">Texas v. California </a>case at the U.S. Supreme Court), it’s unclear whether a President Biden would use his political capital on healthcare initiatives as did his former boss, President Barack Obama.</p> <p>Luckily, the issue of caregiving is nearly as bipartisan and is as noncontroversial as apple pie.</p> <p>Congress, in a unified, bipartisan approach since the 2016 election, has helmed two of the most expansive caregiving bills in recent years. The <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3759">RAISE Family Caregivers Act </a>will create a national strategy for caregivers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services akin to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. Likewise, the <a href="https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/57722/va-mission-act-what-is-the-latest-on-community-care/#:~:text=Last%20June%2C%20President%20Trump%20signed,care%20provided%20outside%20of%20VA.&amp;text=After%20the%20legislation%20was%20enacted,implement%20the%20vast%20changes%20required.">VA MISSION Act of 2018</a>, pushed forward by advocate and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, greatly expanded the family caregiver program at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The act expanded eligibility for caregivers of wounded warriors beyond survivors of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, representing one of the largest federal investments to date in a comprehensive program to support caregivers.</p> <p>What remains to be seen is whether the COVID-19 pandemic will shift the national conversation on the other pain points of family caregiving: expanded protections for workers with family responsibilities, expanded infrastructure for respite care and better inclusion in models of health and long-term care delivery. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>C. Grace Whiting, JD, is the President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to build partnerships in research, advocacy and innovation to make life better for family caregivers. Learn more at </em>www.caregiving.org.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/187" hreflang="en">Older woman with caregiver doing crafts</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>In Focus</strong><br /> By C. Grace Whiting</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/nov-dec-2020" hreflang="en">Nov-Dec 2020</a></div> </div> Wed, 28 Oct 2020 23:43:16 +0000 asa_admin 172 at http://generations.asaging.org Concentrating on the Bright Side: Congregate Living in 2020 http://generations.asaging.org/congregate-living-2020-bright-side <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Concentrating on the Bright Side: Congregate Living in 2020</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6" class="username">asa_admin</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/29/2020 - 00:38</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/ageism-culture" hreflang="en">Ageism &amp; Culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/health-well-being" hreflang="en">Health &amp; Well-being</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/innovation-social-impact" hreflang="en">Innovation &amp; Social Impact</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-channel field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Channel</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/generations-today" hreflang="en">Generations Today</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-text field--type-string-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Text</div> <div class="field__item">‘I need a better balance of time with others and time with just myself.’</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-paragraphs field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Paragraphs</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="dropcaps">After five years of research, site visits and being wait-listed, in May 2019, I moved to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Durham, NC. I had been looking for a college town in a less-congested area than Washington, DC, and Durham seemed to fit the bill. The community I chose had a good vibe to it and beautiful cottages in the independent living section.</p> <p>I knew no one at the community when I moved here, so the first few months were busy with trying out different activities, joining buses of residents to local attractions and offering to help out with too many committees. I met a lot of my neighbors, and made friends and found dining partners quickly. In short order, I ended up on the residents’ council, and had to buy a paper planner to keep track of everything, as my phone could not display my whole day on a single screen.</p> <p>In late February, we changed, along with the rest of the world. Club meetings, activities and trips were the first to be shut down. Our dining evolved from a self-serve buffet to one served by the kitchen staff, and then a short time later the dining room was closed to residents. At that point, large group meetings were no longer allowed, and the campus was closed to outside visitors, including family members.</p> <p>The days that used to hold too many meetings and social events are now spent quietly at home with the dog. I’m an introvert at heart, so this self-isolation has not been much of a hardship for me. I’ve been reading a lot, knitting, doing puzzles and whittling down my Netflix queue. When I feel guilty about all this self-indulgence, I clean or organize something. One meal a day is delivered to my door by the dining staff, with enough food for lunch and dinner.</p> <p>Our in-house broadcast is a source of daily updates from management and a stream of programs and movies to help entertain us. We can leave campus and return, and temperature checks at the gate are now routine. But most of us seem to stick close to home, waving at masked neighbors as we take walks, and getting to know the UPS and Amazon Prime drivers well.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--quote paragraph--view-mode--default"> <blockquote> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>‘I make a point of asking people what the best part of the quarantine has been for them.’</p> </div> <footer class="blockquote-footer mt-2"> <cite title=""> </cite> </footer> </blockquote> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The isolation of this new reality has hit a lot of people hard. Dinner had been the main social event of the day, with groups of friends gathering or joining others at open tables, and lingering for long talks in the hallways after dinner. When I ask people how they’re doing, they mention that they miss their card games, being able to shop for themselves using the campus buses, seeing their families or just talking to others. With 6 feet of distance and masks, it’s hard for some to recognize others or to read the name tags that most of us wear.</p> <p>Things are easing a bit. As of mid-September, we can meet in groups of 10 or fewer—distanced and masked. The fitness center, library, pool and hair salon are open again, but limited to five people at a time. We’re learning a new normal: concerts, lectures and movies are broadcast on TV from a new auditorium that we’re not yet allowed to use. Classes and large meetings have moved to Zoom, where the whole world seems to live these days.</p> <p>Closing the campus to visitors and restricting gatherings, along with scrupulous cleaning, have kept us from having any COVID-19 cases in the independent living population (about 550 people). We have had a few cases among our staff of 500 and in the healthcare center with its 75 residents, but not until May and only about two dozen total, with no fatalities. We’re very lucky in that regard, and lucky that we have a staff who had been through a norovirus outbreak a few years ago and had extensive plans in place for isolating residents and disinfecting everything that can be disinfected.</p> <p>I make a point of asking people what the best part of the quarantine has been for them. Some people are stumped by this, but for me, it’s the realization that I need a better balance of time with others and time with just myself.</p> <p>When I first moved here, I was so worried about making friends and fitting in that I said yes to everything. When there was nothing to say yes to, I discovered that I needed that break and chance to re-center. As we move back toward more community interactions, I hope to remember how to say no—or at least say “later.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /><p><em>Betsy M. Sprouse, PhD, retired from AARP in 2008 after a career in educational gerontology, philanthropy, and management of scholarship, fellowship and internship programs in gerontology. She is a past-president of the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. She considers her greatest professional accomplishment to be the successes of the students and young professionals that she has mentored.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-teaser-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Teaser Media</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/190" hreflang="en">Playing chess</a></div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-byline field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Byline</div> <div class="field__item"><p><strong>In Focus</strong><br /> By Betsy M. Sprouse</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Issue</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/nov-dec-2020" hreflang="en">Nov-Dec 2020</a></div> </div> Wed, 28 Oct 2020 23:38:15 +0000 asa_admin 171 at http://generations.asaging.org