The coronavirus pandemic and the threat of serious illness should encourage conversation about care preferences and end-of-life wishes, says Associate Professor Susan Enguídanos.
Following spring break, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology students returned to class this week, convening online over the videoconferencing app Zoom.
Much of the media narratives about COVID-19 have stated that those at risk of catching the virus are older adults and that young people are not obeying quarantine guidelines; “This is essentially pitting the generations against each other rather than encouraging us to work together," says Paul Nash.
In general, most countries are experiencing the highest death rates from COVID-19 at the older ages (e.g., 85+) and for men, say USC Leonard Davis demography experts.
Based on epidemiological data from Italian and Chinese cases of COVID-19, the disease disproportionately affects older people and has the highest death toll in men (~75% of reported deaths).
Using technological solutions to help people stay connected could improve well-being in some people, says Eileen Crimmins, University Professor and AARP Professor of Gerontology.
Many caregivers already experience frustration and stress, and a time of crisis may exacerbate strain and tension in caregiving relationships.
A recent study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology suggests that older adults who live alone and don't have friends or family nearby eat less fruits and vegetables.
USC students, faculty and staff should visit the university’s COVID-19 website for the latest updates.