New webinar explores the impact of the pandemic on older adults
Edward Alan Miller, Gerontology Department Professor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Aging & Social Policy (JASP), led the webinar “Older Adults and COVID-19: Implications for Aging Policy and Practice” based on a JASP special issue and book of the same title. The February webinar drew more than 500 registrants from around world to learn about the ramifications of the pandemic for older adults and their families, caregivers, and communities.
“We are extremely gratified with how the webinar turned out, drawing participants and viewers from throughout the United States and globally,” said Miller. “It illustrates how the problems and issues brought to the fore by the pandemic will continue to reverberate well beyond the present day to the years to come.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an outpouring of scholarly work on the effect of the pandemic on various populations. Older adults – as well as their formal and informal caregivers – have received a disproportionate share of the pandemic’s impacts. Direct exposure to the virus led to a higher rate of hospitalization and death among older populations, particularly in nursing homes and other congregate living environments. This reality prompted mandates meant to mitigate the virus’ effects on older adults and which, in turn, led to unintended consequences, such as increased social isolation, enhanced economic risk, delays in receiving medical treatment and other supports, and latent ageism.
For its special issue, JASP sought perspectives from leading gerontological researchers on these critical issues, and policy responses that should be considered. In this webinar, 23 authors from the special issue convened to discuss their submissions and developments since the issue’s release last summer. The webinar was divided into major segments: 1) delivering and financing long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the U.S. and other contexts, 2) high-risk older adults in communities, 3) families and caregivers of older adults, 4) local government and community responses, 5) economic risks for older workers and retirees, and 6) documenting and combating ageism. Gerontology doctoral student Elizabeth Simpson led a concluding presentation and group discussion to address post-COVID recovery.
This webinar was sponsored by Journal of Aging & Social Policy, the Department of Gerontology and Gerontology Institute in the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy & Global Studies at UMass Boston and The New School. JASP is a peer-reviewed gerontology journal examining and analyzing critical issues that affect aging and the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies and programs for older adults from a global perspective.
Established in 1989, JASP is published every other month and based at UMass Boston. All articles from the special issue have been made open access by JASP’s publisher, Taylor & Francis.