Book Investigates the Pandemic and its impact on Older Adults

Journal of Aging and Social Policy special edition examines scope,
impact and lessons drawn from Covid-19 for older adults

A special double-issue of the Journal of Aging and Social Policy (JASP) that focused on Covid-19 has been released as a book. “Older Adults and Covid-19: Implications for Aging Policy and Practice” provides 28 articles written by leading gerontology researchers. The authors offer perspectives from around the globe on a host of issues surrounding the virus and its impact on older adults, their families, caregivers, and communities.

Edward Alan Miller

Editor-in-chief Edward A. Miller

Originally published in June 2020, this issue’s release as a book by Taylor & Francis Publishing indicates that the critical questions raised and the policy changes proposed to protect this vulnerable population moving forward deserve continued attention.

“This book is important because nearly everything addressed in the special issue six months ago is still relevant today which reflects poorly in our response as a nation,” said Edward Alan Miller, PhD, a professor at UMass Boston and editor-in-chief of JASP.

As Miller points out in the book’s introduction, older adults have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Exposure to the virus has resulted in older adults dying in disproportionately higher numbers, especially in long-term care facilities. Government-mandated actions to lessen the impact of the virus on older adults have had adverse consequences such as increased social isolation, separation from family members, enhanced economic risk, and challenges getting basic needs met. Continue reading

Institute Talk: Du Peng on Elder Care in China

To get a sense of China’s elder care challenge, begin with this figure: 230 million.

That’s the number of people in China who are 60 years of age or older today, Professor Du Peng of Renmin University told an audience at the McCormack Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Boston on March 15. For the first time, those elders are equal in number to the country’s population age 15 and younger.

Like other countries around the world, China is in the midst of more dramatic demographic shifts that will increase the sheer number its older citizens and make them a bigger part of nation’s population.

China expects the 60-and-older population to grow to 500 million people by the year 2050 and make up 34 percent of the population, said Professor Du, an international leader in aging studies who serves as Director of the Institute for Gerontology at Renmin in Beijing. Without the effect of China’s recent shift to a two-child policy, the elder share of the population in 2050 would be expected to become even higher—36.5 percent. Continue reading

How Medicaid Per Capita Caps Will Affect those Needing Long-Term Services and Supports

By Marc A. Cohen, Ph.D., Michael Miller, MA, Leena Sharma, MPP

Earlier this week, the Republicans in the House of Representatives put forward their plan – the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — for the repeal and replacement of sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In addition to repealing the health-related tax and subsidy provisions in the ACA, replacing them with refundable tax credits, the plan also changes the Medicaid program from a federal-state partnership to a per capita cap program.  More specifically, Section 121 of the Act would use each State’s spending in FY2016 as a base year to set targeted spending for each enrollee category in FY2019 (and subsequent years) for that state.  Each state’s targeted spending amount would increase by the percentage increase in the medical care component of the consumer price index for all urban consumers from September 2019 to September of the next fiscal year.  The enrollee categories for which separate caps would be established include the: (1) elderly, (2) blind and disabled, (3) children, (3) non-expansion adults, and (4) expansion adults. Continue reading