USC Leonard Davis School COVID-19 Expertise

Faculty Tips and Perspectives

Gerontology students connect online

Following spring break, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology students returned to class this week, convening online over the videoconferencing app Zoom.

Bridging Generational Divides

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.

Resources to Stay Safe at Home

The USC Fall Prevention Center of Excellence has compiled a list of resources to make your home safe and supportive for you and your loved ones. View the list here.

Demographic Trends

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.

Biological Differences Between Men and Women

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).

Staying Close, Virtually

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.

Keeping Caregiving Relationships Healthy

Many caregivers already experience frustration and stress, and a time of crisis may exacerbate strain and tension in caregiving relationships.

Nutrition Needs

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.

Eating well and staying healthy while sheltering in place

Dietitian Cary Kreutzer, director of the USC Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity program, shares advice for maintaining healthy habits and connections while isolated.

Addressing Social Isolation

USC gerontology experts have tips for how you can help older adults practice social distancing but still feel in touch.

COVID-19 and caring for older adults

The coronavirus pandemic presents new challenges to senior care, but with some planning and determination, the risk can be mitigated, according to experts from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

In the News

Finding Purpose in the Time of the Coronavirus (Next Ave)

Next Ave published an essay by Paul Irving, distinguished scholar in residence at the USC Leonard Davis School, on seven ways to find purpose during the pandemic. “In this moment, as we face physical isolation, financial loss and threatened health, finding purpose may actually save lives,” he wrote.

Tips On Dementia Caregiving In The COVID-19 Outbreak (Forbes)

Forbes (via Next Avenue) quoted Caroline Cicero of the USC Leonard Davis School on how to care for people with dementia during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Stop & Shop, other grocers have special shopping hours for seniors. Here’s how they work (CNBC)

CNBC quoted Wen Dombrowski about special hours for older adults and immunocompromised individuals at grocery stores in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

America’s growing elderly population is at risk — here’s what we can learn from Italy (MarketWatch)

MarketWatch quoted Paul Irving on why countries with an increasingly older population, including the U.S., are facing serious risks from COVID-19. “There’s a risk to the broader population as well, but we really need to focus on protecting our elders. The older a disease-sufferer, the higher the risk.”

Older Workers Face A Tough Decision: Stay Inside… Or Earn A Paycheck? (LAist)

LAist quoted Kate Wilber of the USC Leonard Davis School on whether older workers should continue working or follow public health recommendations and stay home.

The economic rationale for strong action now against Covid-19 (STAT)

STAT published a column coauthored by Mireille Jacobson on the economic rationale for strong actions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Using the CDC’s most dire estimate, the economic cost of lives lost if we do nothing is $8.5 trillion, or just under half of U.S. gross domestic product. This does not account for the […]

Older workers deciding to work or stay home (KPCC-FM)

KPCC-FM interviewed Kathleen Wilber of the USC Leonard Davis School on how older workers must choose to either continue to work or follow public health recommendations to stay home.

Why older and chronically ill Americans are at greatest risk from coronavirus (Washington Post)

The Washington Post quoted Eileen Crimmins of the USC Leonard Davis School on the poor health of Americans compared to Europeans.

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